Tuesday, March 28, 2023

What Are The Stages Of Flu Symptoms

Must read

Body Aches And Chills

Pregnancy and the Flu

Body aches and chills are also common flu symptoms.

If youre coming down with the flu virus, you may mistakenly blame body aches on something else, such as a recent workout. Body aches can manifest anywhere in the body, especially in the head, back, and legs.

Chills may also accompany body aches. The flu may cause chills even before a fever develops.

Wrapping yourself in a warm blanket can increase your body temperature and possibly reduce chills. If you have body aches, you can take over-the-counter pain relieving medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen .

How Long Does The Flu Typically Last

According to the CDC, the flu can really wreak havoc on you, knocking you off our feet and straight into bed. The best way to prevent it is by getting the flu vaccine each year. But what if you do happen to catch it? How long does the flu last? What are the signs and flu symptoms you can expect? Get all your answers right here. .

What is influenza, aka the flu?

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can range from mild toâ¯severe. When ill with the flu, people often feel some of these flu symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Headaches

How does the flu spread?

Experts believe that influenza usually spreads through droplets that are created when those with the flu cough, sneeze, or talkâspecifically, when these droplets land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Sometimes a person can even catch the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it, and then afterward touching their own mouth, eyes, or nose.

How long does the flu last?

As harsh as the flu can be, the good news is that most people feel much better within one to two weeks.

Most healthy adults become contagious the day before symptoms develop . They remain infectious for up to five to seven days after symptoms appear. However, children and those with weakened immune systems may be contagious for an even longer period.

How can I get some relief from flu symptoms?

High Or Prolonged Fever

Spiking a temperature is a pretty standard symptom of the flu. Fevers are one of the ways our bodies try to fight off diseases, and they can actually be helpful when youre in the midst of an infection. But having a very high fever for days at a time may be a sign that more help is needed . If you’re worried your child’s temperature is too high, or if they start to have seizures from the fever, call your child’s doctor immediately.

You May Like: Side Effects Of Flu Shot In Elderly

/5here Are The Different Stages Of The Flu

While the novel coronavirus continues to impact people’s lives, the flu season has added more fuel to the fire. Amid growing concerns of emerging variants and breakthrough infections, the rise in the number of flu cases has alarmed doctors and medical professionals. As per the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention , flu cases during 2020-21 were “unusually low”. Given that people were masking up, taking all the precautionary measures to stay safe from COVID, it also curbed the spread of other respiratory illnesses.

However, this year, the influenza virus is rampant and has affected many. That said, here’s everything you should know about the flu and the duration of the illness.

How To Treat Flu Symptoms

Kids flu symptoms people influenza disease stages Vector Image

In most cases, the best things to do when you have the flu are:

  • Rest at home.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid contact with other people.

Your doctor might give you prescription medications called antiviral drugs if youâre at higher risk of complications, such as if you:

  • Are very sick or have other medical conditions

Also Check: How Quickly Does The Flu Spread

How Long Does It Take For Symptoms Of A Cold To Show Up

Like many respiratory viruses, the common cold is spread through person-to-person contact, when infected respiratory droplets from one person make their way into another person, Sterling Ransone, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, tells Health. But you don’t get sick right awaythe virus needs what’s called an incubation period to replicate in your body. In the simplest terms, a virus’ incubation period is the time from when you’re first exposed to when you start feeling symptoms.

Cold viruses usually have an incubation period of 24 to 72 hours, Matthew Goldman, MD, a family medicine physician at Cleveland Clinic, tells Health. But that’s just an estimate, says Dr. Goldman, who adds that sometimes cold symptoms can show up just 10 to 12 hours after exposure. On the other end of the spectrum, the US National Library of Medicine says it could take up to a week for your cold symptoms to present. The gist: It really depends on the person and the specific cold virus they’ve come into contact with.

What Are The Symptoms Of Influenza A

If you have influenza A, you will have some or all of these symptoms:

Children may also have abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

Influenza A is a bit like a very bad cold, but a cold doesn’t usually cause aches and pains or a high fever.

If your symptoms get worse instead of better, it’s best to see a doctor. You should also get help straight away if you feel chest pain, you are short of breath, dizzy or confused, or you are vomiting a lot.

Also Check: Flu Shot After Knee Replacement Surgery

When Is Flu Season

Seasonal flu follows a pattern, starting in the fall and ending in the spring. The first sign is often a sudden rise in the number of school-age children sick at home. This is soon followed by more illness in other groups, including parents.

Show Sources

CDC: “Key facts about seasonal influenza ,” “Questions and Answers: Swine Flu and You,” “Key Facts about Swine Influenza .” âWhat You Should Know about Antiviral Drugs,â âThe Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick,â âFlu Symptoms & Complications.â

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “Flu : Symptoms.”

National Jewish Medical and Research Center: “Influenza and the Flu Vaccine.”

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Flu .”

American Lung Association: “Influenza Fact Sheet,” âInfluenza .â

Mayo Clinic: âInfluenza .â

Merck Manual Consumer Version: âInfluenza .â

Is It Flu Or A Cold

The 5 Stages Of A Cold

It can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have flu or just a cold, as the symptoms can be quite similar. The main differences are:

Flu symptoms:

  • usually include fever and aching muscles
  • make you feel too unwell to continue your usual activities

Cold symptoms:

  • come on gradually
  • mainly affect your nose and throat
  • are fairly mild, so you can still get around and are usually well enough to go to work

Read Also: Are There Two Types Of Flu Shots This Year

How Do I Know Whether I Have Flu

How can we tell a flu apart from a common cold? There are three key defining feature to flu symptoms:

  • Symptoms appear quickly, within an hour or so.
  • It affects your whole body not just your nose and throat, your body will ache and you may feel chills.
  • Makes you feel too exhausted to carry on as normal.

Other common flu symptoms include:

  • A high fever.
  • Cough and a Sore throat.
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Tummy ache.

What Are The Different Stages Of The Flu

While the flu wont affect everyone the same way, we will take you through its day to day progression. These stages of the flu will show you how it gets worse in most people and leads to severe health complications in the end.

  • Day Zero

Theres often a misguided belief that until you show symptoms of the flu, someone else wouldnt be able to catch it from you. That is simply not true. Day zero is the day before you start to show real symptoms and at this point, you are able to spread the virus around.

  • Day One

This is the day you wake up with common symptoms of flu like cough, sore throat, and fever. At this stage, most people ignore the symptoms, waiting to see how tomorrow goes because they dont want to spend money on something they think could go away on its own. Asthmatic patients are more likely to face complications from the flu.

  • Day Two

At this point, you may have been kept up by constant coughing the previous night and your inhaler didnt do much for your asthma. The symptoms are worsening and its making you miserable. You figure you can buy some medicine from the pharmacy, so you pop in and get some cough medicine.

  • Day Three
  • Day Four
  • Day Five

The fever is gone and the cough is getting better, so you dont bother to go check if Tamiflu is now available at the pharmacy. It is expensive, and so you think, what difference would it make at this point when things are already better? You stay back at home and relax.

  • Day Six
  • Day Seven
  • Day Eight

Read Also: Why Is The Flu Shot Important

Sudden Or Excessive Fatigue

Shorter days and reduced sunlight can make you feel tired. Theres a difference between being tired and experiencing extreme fatigue.

Sudden, excessive fatigue is one of the earliest symptoms of the flu. It may appear before other symptoms. Fatigue is also a symptom of the common cold, but its usually more severe with the flu.

Extreme weakness and tiredness may interfere with your normal activities. Its important that you limit activities and allow your body to rest. Take a few days off from work or school and stay in bed. Rest can strengthen your immune system and help you fight the virus.

Fever Versus Hyperthermia: Know The Difference

How to Identify Flu (Influenza) and Treat It

A rise in body temperature is not always caused by an internal immunogenic response. It can be triggered by exposure to thermal energy as well. Fever is a voluntary, adaptive response of the bodys immune system against physiological stress and it typically results from an illness or infection.

When a pathogen enters the body, the hypothalamus signals the body to generate more heat to make the core environment uninhabitable for the foreign invader.

Hyperthermia, on the other hand, is a sudden involuntary rise in body temperature without any involvement of the hypothalamus. This condition results when the bodys ability to lose excess heat becomes impaired.

Fever serves to protect and not harm your body, whereas hyperthermia is regarded as a dangerous side effect of thermoregulatory dysfunction that can pose a serious threat to the body.

Don’t Miss: Flu Medicine For Heart Patients

Listen To Our Flu Podcast

Victorias Chief Health Officer, Dr Brett Sutton and the Director of the World Health Organisations Influenza Centre, Professor Kanta Subbarao discuss the complexities of the different flu viruses and how vaccines are crafted to protect us, common misconceptions, when to get vaccinated and why some groups are more vulnerable to the flu.

Normal Range For Body Temperature

The generally accepted normal human body temperature is 98.6°F or 37°C, but this value is subject to minor variations depending upon the age of the individual.

Your core temperature tends to fall slightly below the standard degree as you enter late adulthood. The aging process reduces your bodys ability to regulate body temperature as efficiently as it did during the youthful years.

Short-term fever below 103°F in otherwise healthy individuals rarely warrants any special medical attention, but some commonly used OTC medicines may be taken to get symptomatic relief. Also, children generally get a higher intensity of fever than adults.

You May Like: How Much Does Flu Shot Cost At Cvs Without Insurance

Diagnosing The Cause Of A Fever

The first step in diagnosing the cause of fever is measuring the body temperature. Certain parts of the body are typically investigated for specific symptoms of infection, such as:

  • The skin for any sign of a rash or infection
  • The lymph nodes for swelling that may result from a nearby infection
  • The whites of the eyes for any redness or jaundice-induced yellowing
  • The oral cavity and throat for signs of pharyngitis or a tooth abscess
  • Auscultation of the chest and palpation of the abdomen

In a lot of cases, this preliminary investigation will only direct the doctor towards a potential cause rather than provide a conclusive diagnosis. Thus, certain diagnostic tests may have to be performed to confirm the diagnosis, which can include:

  • Blood tests

What Is Influenza A

Coronavirus VS cold and flu symptoms

Influenza A is a type of virus that causes influenza , a highly contagious respiratory illness. If you get it, you will need to rest at home and avoid infecting others. Vaccination can protect you against influenza A.

Although coronavirus , is a viral illness that has developed into a pandemic, the virus that causes COVID-19 is different from the one that causes influenza.

Both the influenza A and influenza B viruses circulate in the community and change continually, with new strains coming out each winter. This is why yearly vaccination is recommended.

You May Like: Can I Take Ibuprofen After Flu Shot

What Can I Do To Help Prevent Getting The Flu

Getting vaccinated every year before flu season is one of the best ways you can protect yourself from the flu. Anyone 6 months and older is eligible to get the flu vaccine.

While the flu vaccine doesnt prevent all cases of the flu, it does make it less likely that you will get the flu after being exposed. People who are vaccinated also usually have milder illness and have less chance of hospitalization or serious complications. In one study, people who were vaccinated were half as likely to be hospitalized from the flu compared to those who were not vaccinated.

Other steps you can take to protect yourself from the flu are the same ones you take to protect yourself from other viruses:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

  • Stay away from others who are sick.

When Is Cold And Flu Season

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.

RELATED: No Flu Shot and Now You Have the Flu: What to Do?

Don’t Miss: Humana Medicare Advantage Flu Shot

What Are The Symptoms Of A Coldand In What Order Do They Show Up

It turns out, the common cold usually starts with a sore throat, the National Institutes of Health says. After that typically comes sneezing, rhinorrhea , nasal obstruction , and a general unwell feeling, per Merck Manual.

Generally speaking, adults don’t have fever with a cold, or they have a very low fever, MedlinePlus says. Children, however, may run a fever of up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

Because there are many different kinds of cold viruses, you may experience other symptoms of well, per MedlinePlus, like cough, decreased appetite, headache or muscle aches, or postnasal drip.

When To Call Your Doctor

Cold And Flu Stages And Treatment Set. Royalty

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.

Recommended Reading: Best Medicine For Flu And Body Aches

How Long Should A Typical Common Cold Last

Once a cold virus enters one of your cells, it will start to create copies of itself that go on to infect other cells. This can start happening within 8 to 10 hours of the initial infection. Symptoms can begin right after that, but for most people, symptoms appear within 1 to 3 days after exposure to the virus . This is different from the flu, where it takes 1 to 7 days after the initial virus infection before symptoms appear. Then, the average time that cold symptoms last is 7 to 10 days, but symptoms can go on for as long as 3 weeks.

Medical Treatment For A Fever

If a viral infection is responsible for your fever, there is little you can do to address the underlying cause. However, your doctor may recommend some medications to:

  • Ease your head and body aches
  • Temporarily bring down your body temperature

The following medications are commonly used to relieve the symptomatic discomfort associated with a medical or nonmedical fever:

  • Naproxen
  • Acetaminophen or aspirin

These agents, as well as aspirin function by blocking the critical enzymes, termed cyclooxygenases , which are involved in the synthesis of prostaglandin E2 . It is the latter PGE2 that mediates the elevation of the hypothalamic setpoint.

Note: You must stick to your doctor-stipulated dosage to avoid any adverse side effects. Aspirin is not considered safe for children below the age of 18 years, as it can lead to a rare disease called Reyes syndrome. Taking acetaminophen and ibuprofen together is also ill-advised as doing so can lead to medicinal overdosage.

You May Like: Alka Seltzer Cold And Flu While Pregnant

More articles

Popular Articles

When Do I Need A Flu Shot

Uti And Flu Like Symptoms

Is The Flu Shot Good To Get