You could have the flu and not know it, study says

Coughing, sneezing, aches and pains — all normal symptoms of the dreaded flu. But did you know you can actually have no symptoms at all?

A new study out of England found that about three-quarters of infected people showed no signs of the seasonal flu or swine flu in recent years — potentially making the spread of the virus all the more likely. (Via U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

To get the results, researchers looked at data during the winter flu seasons between 2006 and 2011, including the 2009 outbreak of swine flu. 

The results, published in The Lancet, showed about 18 percent of people without a vaccine got the virus but only 23 percent of those people actually developed symptoms. (Via Flickr / Ray Dumas

>> Read more trending stories

"And about fewer than one in five people were sick enough to see a doctor or stay home from work. ... Well, that's not really getting the flu, is it?" (Via WHBQ)

Well, it's not like any flu I've ever had ... or at least one I knew I had.

One of the lead researchers makes a little more sense of the results: "Most people don't go to the doctor when they have flu. ... Surveillance based on patients who consult greatly underestimates the number of community cases, which in turn can lead to overestimates of the proportion of cases who end up in hospital or die."

Now, there are still a lot of unanswered questions with this study — one being, if you hardly show signs, how easily can the virus be passed along? Flu incognito — creepy. 

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Health

Medical debt relief is coming
Medical debt relief is coming

After more than two years of delays, new rules granting consumers some relief from the harm medical debt can do to their credit will finally go into effect. Beginning Sept. 15, the three main credit bureaus will enact rules they agreed to back in 2015 that require them to provide a 180-day cooling off period before any medical debt goes onto a credit...
50 local restaurants serving up a week’s worth of special deals next week
50 local restaurants serving up a week’s worth of special deals next week

Get your forks ready. The Summer Restaurant Week promotion runs July 23-30 offering meals from nearly 50 restaurants across the Dayton area ranging in price from $20.17-$30.17. The restaurant week promotion was established more than a decade ago as a way to generate interest traffic to local restaurants and help give diners a chance to explore the...
Today’s heroic movies raise lots of super questions
Today’s heroic movies raise lots of super questions

First off, I don’t understand why people call him “Spidey.” They don’t call Superman “Supey.” Or Batman “Batty.” And yet just about everybody, up to and including a headline in The New York Times about the latest Spider-Man movie, referred to the adolescent superhero as “Spidey.” Leaving aside...
Envelopes can fix your budget

There are so many people who’ve tried every budgeting tip and trick in the book but still can’t seem to figure out how to handle their money by themselves. It’s just not a natural tendency for most people. If you’re in this situation and maybe have been for a while, there’s a “scared straight” kind of technique...
4 breathtaking waterfalls near Dayton you must visit this summer
4 breathtaking waterfalls near Dayton you must visit this summer

Everyone knows TLC’s famous words of advice, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls.” But we think it’s in your best interest to do exactly the opposite.  Summer is the perfect time to do a little waterfall adventuring to cool off and unwind.  Perhaps surprising to many people even from the Dayton-area, there are...
More Stories