Is My Rash Contagious
If you have a rash, you should always seek a health care providers recommendation. Many rashes can be symptoms of contagious illness like meningitis or measles, said Pittman. Do not return to work or send your children with rashes to school until your provider gives you the go ahead.
Rashes can be a symptom for many things like allergic reactions, chicken pox, impetigo, hands foot and mouth, and shingles. Pittman notes if you have a rash in conjunction with a fever that the combination is often a sign of a more serious illness.
How Long Am I Contagious: Covid
When it comes to being sick, weve all heard someone say, Dont worry, Im not contagious anymore. However, they may still be spreading germs even after their symptoms pass. Understanding the different contagious periods for COVID-19, flu, cold and other viruses will help you feel confident about keeping you and your loved ones healthy!
What is a contagious period?
A contagious period is the timeframe an illness is transmittable from one person to another.
The incubation period, or time before symptoms are visible, can differ among different illnesses and affect the contagious period. During this time, its important to be aware of what and whom you encounter. While you may not see any symptoms, you may still be contagious. Understanding your infection and its contagious period will help you and others stay healthy.
Always remember to frequently wash your hands, keep physical distance between you and others, regularly disinfect and clean surfaces, cover your cough and sneeze and consider wearing a mask to prevent the spread of germs. face covering while in public places. Learn more on how to recognize the different symptoms of COVID-19, the flu and the common cold.
See the chart below for further information.
Think you might have COVID-19?
How Long Is The Flu Contagious And How Long Should I Stay Home
P.S. The flu is contagious prior to your symptoms starting.
After being practically non-existent last year, the flu is slowly coming back across the country. The University of Michigan is currently grappling with a flu outbreak and cases of the virus have starting creeping up nationwide.
Rochelle Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned during a press briefing last month that this years flu season could be a doozy. “Last year there were very few flu cases, largely because of masking and physical distancing and other prevention measures put in place for the COVID-19 pandemic, she said. Between October 3, 2020 and July 24, 2021, the CDC saw just 2,136 positive flu tests out of 1.3 million specimens tested by clinical labs, according to data published in JAMA. There were 736 deaths last season from the flu and, by comparison, the 20192020 flu season saw an estimated 35 million flu-related illnesses and 20,000 flu-related deaths, per the CDC.With modest flu virus activity since March of 2020, CDC’s flu experts are concerned that reduced population-level immunity to the seasonal flu could place us at risk for a potentially severe flu season this year, Dr. Walensky said.
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What Is The Flu Again
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs, according to the CDC. There are two main types of flu virusestypes A and Band they usually circulate during flu season every year.
The flu can cause the following symptoms, per the CDC:
- fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Vomiting and diarrhea
Is The Flu Contagious
The flu is very contagious. People can spread it from a day before they feel sick until their symptoms are gone. This is about 1 week for adults, but it can be longer for young kids.
The flu usually happens in annual epidemics. An epidemic is when an illness spreads quickly and infects lots of people in an area at the same time. Some years the epidemic is more severe and widespread than others. An epidemic that spreads worldwide is called a pandemic. This is far less common. There were three influenza pandemics in the 20th century, and one so far in the 21st century, in 2009 with influenza A .
During the coronavirus pandemic, experts found that wearing masks can help protect the community from the spread of germs. They recommended that all children age 2 and up wear a mask when out in public or around people who don’t live with them. Wearing masks can also help stop the spread of flu.
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Looking After Yourself When You Have Influenza
The best things you can do to look after yourself when you have the flu are:
- Rest you will probably feel very weak and tired until your temperature returns to normal . Rest provides comfort and allows your body to use its energy to fight the infection.
- Stay at home stay away from work, school and any places where you may have contact with others, especially while you are contagious. The period during which adults are contagious is usually around 35 days from when the first symptoms appear, and up to 7 days in younger children.
- Drink plenty of fluids extra fluids are needed to replace those lost because of the fever . If your urine is dark, you need to drink more. Try to drink a glass of fluids, such as water, every hour while you are awake.
How Can I Best Protect My Child Against The Flu
First, with your pediatricians OK, have your child vaccinated. Added prevention is also key. Teach your child how to wash his or her hands when he or she is in school or away from home with either soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
The flu virus spreads mainly by droplets when infected people cough, sneeze, or even talk, but it can be spread by touching surfaces on which one of those droplets has landed and then touching ones nose, mouth or eyes. This is why hand washing is so important both for the person with the flu and others around him or her. If someone in your household has the flu, ask your doctor if preemptive antiviral medication is an option for others in the home. Clean common surfaces like the kitchen counter, bathroom sink, light switches, door knobs, etc., frequently with household disinfectants.
If your child has the flu, keep him or her home from school, daycare and any other activities that could expose others to the virus. If your child needs to go outside of the house, he or she should wear a mask to reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus to others.
We urge that children six months and older be vaccinated, especially those at risk for complications from the flu. Your childs pediatrician will know whats best for your child, especially if there are preexisting conditions, including allergies, that require careful review.
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What Employers Should Know
An important way to reduce the spread of flu is to keep sick people away from those who are not sick. Businesses should review and communicate their sick leave policies and practices to employees every year before flu season begins.
- Advise all employees to stay home if they are sick until at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines, or after symptoms have improved .
- Prepare and advise employees on policies concerning caring for sick household members or children. Flexible leave policies and alternate work schedules can help prevent the spread of flu at your workplace, allow employees to continue to work or function while limiting contact with others, help maintain continuity of operations, and help people manage their health and their familys needs.
- Prepare for employees to stay home from work and plan ways for essential business functions to continue.Employees may stay home because they are sick, need to care for sick household members, or because schools have been dismissed and they need to care for their children. Cross-train staff to perform essential functions so that the business can continue operating.
How Should I Treat It
Consider giving your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen as directed on the bottle for fevers, headache and body aches, or by your pediatrician. Have your child drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. This is especially important if your child has a high fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Keep your child apart from other members of the household, help him or her rest and keep him or her at home at least 24 hours after fever and other symptoms subside.
Do not share eating utensils, drinking glasses, washcloths, towels, beds, pillows, etc. until everyone in the household has been free of symptoms for five days.
Because the flu is caused by a virus it does NOT respond to antibiotics.
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How Long Is The Flu Contagious
The flu is contagious from the last 24 hours of the incubation period through the time you are experiencing symptoms.
The incubation period is the time between your exposure to the virus to the start of symptoms. This usually lasts between 24 hours and four days. This means if you are exposed to the influenza virus and become infected, you will start to get flu symptoms, such as fever and body aches, anywhere between 24 hours and four days after the exposure. The average incubation period is about two days.
Since you can be contagious 24 hours before your symptoms appear, you may spread the virus before you even know you have it. Add that to the number of people who try to push through their symptoms and expose others to their germs when they are sick, and it’s easy to see why the flu affects so many people each year.
After symptoms start, adults can spread the virus for five to 10 days. However, the amount of virus spread decreases significantly after three to five days. Adults are most contagious with the flu from 24 hours before symptoms start to three to five days afterward. As a general rule, the presence of symptoms is a good way to know that you are contagious.
In children, the flu is contagious for up to 10 days, and sometimes even beyond that. People who have serious immune system problems can spread influenza for weeks, or even months, after they get it.
Easy Ways To Cope With Cold And Flu Viruses
1. Clean your hands often with an alcohol-based sanitizer or soap and water
2. Get an annual flu shot before the start of flu season
3. Ease your symptoms with NeoCitran over-the-counter cold and flu medicines
4. Use household cleaning products to disinfect areas where germs may spread, such as bathroom surfaces, tables near beds and door handles, etc.
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Preventing The Spread Of Flu
You can help stop yourself catching flu or spreading it to others with good hygiene measures.
Always wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, as well as:
- regularly cleaning surfaces such as your computer keyboard, telephone and door handles to get rid of germs
- using tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- putting used tissues in a bin as soon as possible
You can also help stop the spread of flu by avoiding unnecessary contact with other people while you’re infectious. You should stay off work or school until you’re feeling better.
In some people at risk of more serious flu, an annual flu vaccine or antiviral medication may be recommended to help reduce the risk of becoming infected.
- difficulty sleeping
Treating Cold And Flu
Both cold and flu cause symptoms that can disrupt daily life. In most cases, viral infections run their course relatively quickly without any treatment.
Many people find relief after treating the symptoms of these illnesses, however. A wide range of drugs help treat the symptoms of cold and flu. These are available over the counter .
There is also a selection of cold and flu medication available for purchase online.
These medications may be useful if severe symptoms make normal function difficult. In some people with influenza, doctors may prescribe antiviral medications.
Some people choose to take preventive action against flu in the form of vaccines. Creating a vaccine for a constantly evolving virus is difficult.
However, the CDC report that the vaccine reduces the risk of contracting the flu by
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When To Expect Improvement
Influenza is extremely common, especially during the fall and winter months. You probably know about symptoms of the flu, like coughing and fever, but might wonder how long the flu lasts.
In healthy children and adults, the flu typically lasts for three to seven days. However, if you develop complications, you’ll feel sick much longer. The cough from the flu can also stick around for up to two weeks.
People with the flu are often contagious a day before they experience symptoms, and they can pass the flu to others for up to a week after symptoms appear. Kids might spread the flu virus for even longer.
This article discusses everything you should know about the flu, including answers to common questions like How long does the flu last in adults? and How long does the flu last in babies? It also covers treatment, prevention, and when to call a healthcare provider.
ljubaphoto / Getty Images
How Is The Flu Diagnosed
Often, how a child looks is enough for health care providers to diagnose the flu. Kids who have it usually look ill and miserable.
Other infections can cause symptoms similar to the flu. So if health care providers need to be sure that someone has influenza, they might do a test. They’ll take a sample of mucus by wiping a long cotton swab inside the nose or throat. Results might be ready quickly, or can take longer if the test is sent to a lab.
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What Stops The Flu From Spreading
There are multiple ways to avoid getting and spreading the flu. Here are some of the best ways:
- Washing your hands often: This will help protect you from any germs that could make their way into your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you cannot wash your hands with soapy water, then hand sanitizer is the next best thing.
- Avoiding close contact with sick people: Trying your best to stay away from sick people will help keep you from catching the flu. If youre sick with the flu, limiting your contact with other people will keep you from spreading the flu.
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing: When youre sick with the flu and cough or sneeze, tiny droplets containing the flu virus can travel through the air and infect other people. Covering your mouth and nose is a great way to help stop this.
- Wearing a face mask: The protection you get from face masks isnt exclusive to coronavirus. A face mask can protect you from the common cold and flu too.
- Staying up to date on vaccinations: Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to prevent the flu. Flu vaccines have been proven to reduce the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and flu-related deaths.
When Am I Most Contagious
People with the flu are the most contagious during the first three to four days after symptoms begin.
|How long is the flu contagious?|
|1 day before symptoms develop||3-4 days after symptoms begin||5-7 days after symptoms begin|
|Start becoming contagious||Most contagious||Still contagious even if you feel completely better|
Note: This table is only a generalization. The CDC reports that young children and people with weakened immune systems may be contagious after seven days.
Symptoms of the flu can start to appear anywhere from one to four days after getting the flu virus, and even though most cases of the flu resolve in a week, symptoms can last up to several weeks for some people. Here are the most common symptoms of the flu:
- Runny nose
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Is The Flu Vaccine Safe For Kids With Allergies
Even though the flu vaccine contains egg protein, most children with egg and other food allergies can be immunized safely with a few basic precautions.
Children with established diagnoses of severe egg allergy should not be immunized without consulting a pediatric allergist. Most, however, can be vaccinated safely after a skin-prick test to the vaccine itself to gauge the risk for a reaction. Children with suspected yet unconfirmed allergies and those with mild egg allergies can usually be vaccinated in their pediatricians office.
An estimated 2 percent to 3 percent of U.S. children are allergic to eggs. Leaving them unprotected against the flu can lead to many unnecessary yet preventable infections and hospitalizations. Many children with food allergies also have asthma, putting them at even higher risk for complications from the flu. Pediatricians should make special efforts to vaccinate those at high risk for complications, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics .
When To Call Your Doctor
Flu symptoms can range from mild to severe. You should see your healthcare provider or seek immediate medical attention if:
- Your symptoms last more than a week.
- You feel better but then develop a very or severe cough.
- You have any trouble breathing.
- You have a fever of 105 degrees or higher that does not come down with medication.
- You experience chest pain.
- You feel dizzy or confused.
- You are not urinating.
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