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How Long Sick With Flu

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Which Children Are At Risk For The Flu

How Long Are You Contagious With The Flu?

A child is more at risk for the flu if he or she:

  • Is around people infected with the flu

  • Has not had the flu vaccine

  • Does not wash his or her hands after touching infected surfaces

Young children and children with certain underlying health conditions are at increased risk for a hospital stay or severe or complicated influenza infection.

How Long Do Cold And Flu Symptoms Last

When suffering from cold and flu symptoms, how long youll feel unwell will vary from person to person. As a general rule, most people recover from the common cold within seven to ten days, while flu symptoms may last five to seven days.8 Although both cold and flu symptoms are incredibly similar, in general the flu is worse than the common cold and symptoms are more intense. Colds are usually more mild than the flu and dont often result in serious health problems that lead to hospitalizations.10 Because flu symptoms can be more intense, flu vaccinations are strongly recommended in order to protect yourself and others from the flu. If you catch the flu while vaccinated, flu shots can minimize the effects of the flu. For people who have received the annual flu shot, the symptoms may last for a shorter amount of time or be less severe.8

How Long Is The Common Cold Contagious

Like the flu virus, a cold can be contagious from a few days before you start showing symptoms until you fully recover . You will usually be more contagious during the first two or three days, when your symptoms are likely to be at their worst.6

You will usually be more contagious during the first two or three days, when your symptoms are likely to be at their worst.6

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How Long The Flu And Covid

Typically, flu symptoms stick around for four or five days maybe even up to seven days, Dr. Englund says, while the CDC reports that people with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious for about 10 days after symptom onset.

Some people continue to experience the effects of COVID-19 even after theyve stopped being contagious. Long-haulers, as theyre called, are those who still experience some sort of symptom 28 days or later after they were first infected.

Most people with either illness can recover at home with rest, fluids and over-the-counter medicines for fever or body aches, Dr. Englund says. But in some cases, they can both result in complications like pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome and inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissue. These complications are more likely to affect older adults and people with underlying medical conditions.

Additional complications associated with COVID-19 include blood clots and multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

If you contract either virus, its important to monitor your symptoms and stay in touch with your doctor.

Add Moisture To The Air

How long are you contagious with the flu?

Dry air can make your symptoms worse. A vaporizer or humidifier adds moisture to the air and can help loosen up congestion.

There are many types of humidifiers and vaporizers available on the market. Examples include cool-mist humidifiers and steam vaporizers. These can be found easily for a reasonable price at your local big-box store, pharmacy, or online.

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Can The Flu Shot Make You Sick

A common misconception is that the flu shot makes you sick. The CDC asserts that the flu shot cannot give you the flu. At worst, you may feel a few minor side effects a few days after receiving your vaccination. This is because flu shots are made either with no virus at all or with an inactivated virus, meaning it is not infectious.There are a few side effects some people encounter after a flu shot, which are described below, but these are minor and will subside on their own. The reality is that even if you do experience side effects from a flu shot, they are much less severe than the effects of contracting the virus itself.

Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick

Influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*Its important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

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How Is The Flu Treated

Most kids with flu get better at home. Make sure your child:

  • drinks lots of liquids to prevent dehydration
  • gets plenty of sleep and takes it easy
  • takes acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve fever and aches. Don’t give kids or teens aspirin because of its link to Reye syndrome.
  • wears layers that are easy to remove. Kids might feel cold one minute and hot the next.

Children with the flu should stay home from school and childcare until they feel better. They should go back only when they haven’t had a fever for at least 24 hours without using a fever-reducing medicine. Some kids need to stay home longer. Ask the doctor what’s best for your child.

Doctors may prescribe antiviral medicine for a very ill child or kids are at risk for more serious symptoms. The medicine can shorten the flu by 12 days. It works best if children start taking it within 48 hours of the start of the flu. If a doctor prescribes antiviral medicine for your child, ask about any possible side effects. Doctors won’t prescribe antibiotics for the flu. Antibiotics work only against bacteria, not viruses.

What Are The Symptoms

How Does Flu Make You Sick?

Influenza symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle pain, runny nose, sore throat, extreme tiredness and cough. Children may also experience nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Although infections from other viruses may have similar symptoms, those due to the influenza virus tend to be worse.

Symptoms can begin about 1 to 4 days, or an average of 2 days, after a person is first exposed to the influenza virus. Fever and other symptoms can usually last up to 7 to 10 days, but the cough and weakness may last 1 to 2 weeks longer.

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Feeling Sick After Getting A Flu Shot Is A Normal Thing

The intent of flu shots is to avoid the flu. We know this. Its been drilled into our heads again and again. And yet, a little less than half of adults in the US got the routine jab for the 2018 to 2019 flu season.

The reason for this shouldnt be the costmost insurance and Medicaid covers the flu vaccine as preventative medicine. Nor should it be conveniencethe US passed a law in August allowing pharmacists across all 50 states to give flu shots. Instead, its the myth that the flu shot itself makes you sick.

Like most misconceptions that stick around, theres a little truth to it. Its normal to feel peakyfatigued, achey, or warm with a low-grade feverafter getting a flu shot. This is the robust immune response as the bodys creating antibodies, actual protection against the flu, says Juanita Mora, an immunologist practicing in Chicago and volunteer medical spokesperson with the American Lung Association. It happens to about 10% of people who get the shot, she says.

In other words, feeling like youre in the early stages of getting the flu is actually a sign that youll be protected from the actual virus. What youre feeling is the bodys defense system gearing up.

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Getting Better Before Getting Worse

Another important sign that can help you or a loved one determine if you need to visit the ER is when treatment for severe colds may make you feel better initially, but flu-like symptoms return. If your fever broke and returned after a few days, chest pain starts to come back or you are unable to hold down food after youve been able to eat normally, it might be a sign that stronger influenza treatment is necessary.

If at any point you or a loved one also is experiencing any symptoms of severe hydration, including extreme thirst, confusion, dark-colored urine and dizziness, seek medical treatment immediately.

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What Is The Best Way To Prevent Cold/flu Virus Transmission From Surfaces

Studies have shown that flu viruses can remain infectious for 4 to 9 hours and cold viruses for up to 24 hours, so frequent cleaning of commonly touched items and surfaces throughout the working day, particularly if people with symptoms are present , can help reduce transmission.

Classrooms, offices, and living rooms, which are left unoccupied overnight, are unlikely to contain much viable virus on surfaces by the next morning.

Washing your hands often is a critical step in preventing colds, especially when youre in close contact with a sick person. Use disinfectants to clean objects or areas that have been in contact with individuals who are sick. Chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, soaps, detergents, or alcohol-based gels all disrupt the capsules of the viruses, and theyre no longer capable of being infectious.

If youre around someone with a cold, avoid touching your face and wash your hands frequently, and tell them to take a sick day. If youre sick, stay home and cover coughs and sneezes.

For the answer to How long can the Coronavirus survive on surfaces? click here.

Difference Between Flu And Covid

How Long Is The Flu Contagious?

The symptoms of COVID-19 and flu can be similar.

If you are unwell with flu-like symptoms, contact the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 675 398 or your GP to check if you require COVID-19 testing.

The symptoms to watch out for are:

  • loss or changein sense of smell or taste
  • fever

Some people may also experience headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

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How Can You Prevent The Flu

A flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu. Practicing preventative habits can also cut down on your chances of exposing yourself to the flu.Germs like the flu spread when people touch their eyes, nose, mouth, or even the food that they eat, explains Dr. Tyeese L. Gaines, board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician and Medical Director of UltraMed Urgent Care in Skokie, Illinois. Its a good habit to always wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, but especially during flu season. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.The CDC advises you utilize several health habits to protect yourself:Avoid close contact with those who are sickWash your hands thoroughly and oftenAvoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth especially when in publicDisinfect surfaces, especially if someone is sickEat well and get enough sleepStay hydratedYou can also prevent the flu by stopping the spread of germs to others. Always cover your coughs and sneezes. And should you come down with the flu yourself, stay home to avoid spreading the virus.

How Long Does The Flu Last 14 Flu Faqs Answered

When the winds blow colder and the days grow shorter, you know that flu season is imminent. Its the sickness we dread with each doorknob we touch and each time we hear a coworker cough.In the spirit of flu season, were here to answer some of your most pressing questions about the virus: How long does the flu last? Is there any way to prevent it? Do you really need a flu shot?We spoke with medical professionals and consulted the holy grail of health care, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , to answer all of your flu FAQs. Keep reading to hear how you can protect yourself and your family this flu season.

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Managing Your Symptoms At Home

If you’re otherwise healthy, you can look after yourself at home by resting, keeping warm and drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

If you’re concerned about coronavirus , be mindful of our ibuprofen advice on the coronavius page.

If you feel unwell and have a fever, you can take paracetamol or anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen to lower your temperature and relieve aches. Children under 16 shouldn’t be given aspirin.

Stay off work or school until you’re feeling better. For most people, this will take about a week. See your GP if your symptoms get worse or last longer than a week.

Read the page on preventing flu for more information about stopping the infection spreading to others.

How Long Is The Flu Contagious

How to prevent the flu

A 2013 survey conducted by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases revealed that 41 percent of people think the flu is only contagious after symptoms start. Thats not true.

An adult infected with influenza may be contagious from one day before symptoms start until five to seven days after becoming sick. Children may continue to be contagious for longer than seven days, according to the CDC.

Staying home until your contagious period has likely passed will help you avoid passing germs on to other people.

Other simple steps can keep you from spreading infection to others or picking up a virus from other people around you at school, work, or at home.

Its really basic public health practices, says Catherine Troisi, PhD, an associate professor in the divisions of management, policy, and community health and epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston. You should wash your hands, stay home if youre sick, get enough sleep, and eat well.

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What About Flu Complications

In some cases of the flu, severe illness, and complications can develop. This can result in hospitalisation and even death.

The flu can also make some existing medical conditions worse.

People at higher risk of severe complications associated with the flu include:

  • pregnant women
  • people with chronic medical conditions.

When Flu Spreads

People with flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness begins. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children and some people with weakened immune systems may pass the virus for longer than 7 days.

Symptoms can begin about 2 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some people can be infected with a flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those people may still spread the virus to others.

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What Is The Flu

The flu is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract that can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications . It affects people of all ages. The flu is spread by contact with fluids from coughs and sneezes that contain the flu virus.

It is estimated that flu contributes to more than 3,300 deaths in Australia each year.

Even healthy people can sometimes die from the flu. For vulnerable Victorians, like young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with a weakened immune system or chronic medical condition, the flu can have serious and devastating outcomes.

When Is Cold And Flu Season

How Long is Flu Contagious &  How Long Does Fever Last With ...

While its possible to get the flu year-round, most people get sick in the fall and winter. Flu season generally peaks between December and February, and can sometimes stretch into May, says the CDC.

Most people get colds in the winter and spring, according to the CDC, but its possible to catch a cold in the summer or fall too.

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Get Medical Help Immediately For These Symptoms

Infants and Children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not urinating or no tears when crying
  • Severe or repeated vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Pain or pressure in chest or belly
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Flu-like symptoms that get better but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or belly
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Flu-like symptoms that get better but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Severe dehydration

Similarities Between The Symptoms Of The Flu And Covid

The flu and COVID-19 are different viruses. They’re very contagious and have similar symptoms. This can make it hard to tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19 when symptoms appear.

If you start to develop symptoms, follow the same precautions taken for COVID-19.

This year is more important than ever for everyone 6 months and older to get the flu shot. This will help prevent the flu and flu-related complications. Preventing the flu will also help reduce stress on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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I Think I Have The Flu Should I See A Doctor

Most people who are generally healthy wont need to see their doctor for the flu. Their immune system will fight the infection and symptoms will usually clear up on their own.

If you think you have the flu, try to rest, maintain a good fluid intake, and manage your symptoms. This will help you recover and prevent dehydration.

If you do need to see a GP for your symptoms, make sure you call ahead first so they can make sure theres no one in an at-risk group around when you have your appointment.

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