General Rules Of Thumb
If you have a young child in your household, pay attention to any changes in behavior, said Pittman. Behavioral changes are often the very first signs your child is coming down with something.
If you are still unsure how long you should stay home or keep your children home, then ask your primary care provider. They are available to answer any questions and give you the support and resources you need to help you and your family get better.
Media contact: Dee Dee Grays, , 979.436.0611
What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu
The symptoms of the flu can vary from mild to severe and can last from several days to a couple of weeks.
There is a rapid onset of symptoms that come on suddenly and make you sick within a few hours.
The most common symptoms of the flu include:
- Metabolic disorders
- Chronic health conditions that weaken the immune system such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, etc.
You may also be at a higher risk of getting the flu and developing complications if you are pregnant or postpartum for up to two weeks after you give birth.
If you are African American, Latino, Native American, or a Native Alaskan person you are also at a higher risk of developing the flu and its complications.
How Long Are You Contagious With Bronchitis
Do keep in mind that there are hundreds of viruses and bacteria that are infectious. Even after diagnosing you with acute bronchitis, your doctor will not be able to tell you what specific virus or bacterium that you have.
Therefore, the period of contagiousness is not really an exact science. But do not fret, because as experience provides, you are good to go for at least three days up to a week.
Now, let us go into detail and answer some common questions.
1. When are you most contagious?
You are most contagious on the first day that your symptoms manifest themselves.
2. You have just finished your antibiotics which lasted for a week, but you are still coughing. Are you contagious?
Determine if you have a productive cough, or you are expelling mucus or phlegm. If there is none, you are no longer contagious, but still, you might want to take something for your cough.
3. You have been taking antibiotics for two weeks, and you are on its last leg. Are you still contagious?
Doctors almost always prescribe antibiotics for acute bronchitis to be taken at most for just a week. Thus, your prescription for two weeks may mean that the bacteria can be aggressive. With that said, it is better to add two days to your quarantine period just to be sure.
4. You did not take any medicine instead, you treated your acute bronchitis with home remedies. Are you contagious?
Rule of thumb is to wait for seven days, but seriously, go to the doctor!
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You Still Need To Get Vaccinated Or Get Your Booster Wear A Mask And Social Distance
In fact, a recent study found that unvaccinated adults were twice as likely to get reinfected with COVID-19 than those who got vaccinated after they’d recovered from their illness.
“We still know very little about the immune system’s response to this virus, including how long protective immunity may or may not last,” Dr. Septimus warns. “What we do have a clear understanding of is the strong protection that vaccine-induced immunity provides.”
What does this mean for you?
Even after recovering from COVID-19, it’s imperative that you get vaccinated and continue to practice the preventive measures that protect yourself and others from the virus, including social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands regularly.
For those who are vaccinated and experience a breakthrough infection, you’ll still want to get a COVID booster. If you are 16+, it’s recommended that you get your booster once your symptoms resolve and you have met the criteria for ending isolation and the recommended time has elapsed since your primary series of either Pfizer , Moderna or J& J . People who received monoclonal antibodies as part of their COVID-19 treatment plan will need to wait 90 days before getting a COVID booster.
When You Are Most Contagious
People with the flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins.
However, some adults can be contagious as early as the day before their symptoms develop.
This is one of the reasons why the flu spreads so easilypeople can sometimes spread the illness before they even know theyre sick.
Healthy adults can remain contagious up to 5-7 days after becoming sick.
Young children and adults with weakened immune systems may be able to spread the virus for an even longer period of time.
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How Long Are You Contagious After Having The Flu
Image: Kari Perrin
So you came down with the flu and you are finally feeling better, but you still have a pesky lingering cough and runny nose. Are you still contagious? Can you return to work, school and all those holiday parties you have planned without infecting others?
Infectious disease specialist and CAN Community Health medical director Dr. Tanya Schreibman answers our questions about contagiousness and how we can safely navigate the holiday season.
When do you become contagious with the flu?
“You are theoretically contagious for 24 hours before you experience symptoms,” says Schreibman. “This might be scary for some people, because they don’t know they are sick and going out and about. But it’s common to be spreading germs before you even feel sick.”
How long are you contagious for?
“It depends on the person, but the highest rate of contagious period would be three to four days while symptomatic,” says Schreibman. “From symptom onset to three to four days, you are most critically contagious. But on average, you remain contagious five to seven days after becoming sick.”
Are you still contagious if you have a lingering cough or runny nose?
According to Schreibman, that is hard to say. Any flu symptoms can last as long as one to two weeks. And, “theoretically, during that time, you could still be contagious, especially kids and those with a weakened immune system,” says Schreibman.
How is the flu spread? Is it different or similar to Covid-19?
How Long Are You Really Contagious When You Fall Ill With Flu And Norovirus
Some winter bugs and viruses are infectious before symptoms show and even after they disappear
- Andrea Downey
AT this time of year just about everyone around you is coughing, sniffing and sneezing.
Winter bugs feel like they’re unavoidable, but just how long are you contagious for if you are struck with one?
You may have heard the old wives’ tales about how you’re contagious for a week before you get symptoms. Or that as soon as you get symptoms you’re no longer contagious.
But there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to winter bugs.
Luckily it is easier to spot the signs of common winter bugs – and there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from them.
Here’s we reveal how long you’re really contagious if you have a cold, flu or the winter vomiting bug norovirus.
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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.
When Are You No Longer Contagious With The Flu
Generally, for those who do not have compromised immune systems, viral shedding starts just before symptoms appear and can continue for around a week.
However, this timeline is very general, and there may be a lot of individual variation.
This approximate timeline may also not apply to those who are immunocompromised, such as those who are undergoing chemotherapy or taking chronic steroids or immunosuppressive medication.
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How Long Is The Flu Contagious After The Fever Breaks
Many people believe that they are no longer contagious after their fever breaks, meaning when their symptoms of fever improve or their fever goes away.
However, you should not use fever as a representation of contagiousness, as it is not an accurate or clinical signal. For example, if you take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and body aches, this may more quickly improve your symptoms of fever, but you may still be contagious.
The CDC recommends not returning to work or school for at least 24 hours after your influenza fever has come down on its own .
In general, to avoid spreading the virus to someone else, you should stay at home and away from other people for at least 45 days from the onset of flu symptoms.
What Problems Can Happen
Some children are more likely to have problems when they get the flu, including:
- kids up to age 5, especially babies
- people with a weak immune system from medicines or illnesses or illnesses
- people with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma or diabetes
- kids or teens who take aspirin regularly
- people who are very obese
- women who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, just had a baby, or are breastfeeding
- people who live in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes
- people 65 years and older
If they get the flu, their illness can be more serious. They can develop pneumonia or get even sicker from other kinds of infections . If this happens, many will need medical care in the hospital. So it’s important for them not to be near anyone who has the flu or flu-like symptoms.
People who have flu symptoms should keep their distance from anyone who might get very sick if they catch the flu.
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Do Certain Symptoms Suggest Were Contagious
Dr. Julie Parsonnet, an infectious diseases epidemiologist with Stanford Medicine, says there doesnt appear to be a strong relationship between a persons symptoms and how much virus is in their nose and throat.
But in general, people whove tested positive and are symptomatic are more at risk of transmitting and should isolate at home to avoid transmitting the virus to others.
People whose symptoms are not improving particularly if they have coughing and sneezing should continue to stay home until theyre feeling better, Parsonnet said.
If someone carrying the virus is coughing or sneezing, theres a greater chance they can spread the virus to others since theyre releasing respiratory droplets that carry the virus.
Researchers are still studying if and how symptoms correlate to how contagious a person is.
We dont exactly how symptom duration relates to how long someone is contagious, but we do typically associate symptoms like fever as indication that someone is still infectious, said Dr. John Carlo, the CEO of Prism Health North Texas and member of the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force.
Research has also shown that people with asymptomatic infections, though less likely than symptomatic individuals to spread the infection, can transmit it to others.
Parsonnet says its difficult to quantify how long asymptomatic individuals are contagious because its hard to identify when and how long theyve been infected.
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 Should I Stay Home After Getting A Nuisance Disease Like Lice/ringworm/pinworms
People with head lice should not return to school or work until treatment has begun, Pittman said. Pinworms and ringworm are also incredibly contagious, especially for children, but they usually do not require someone to miss school or work. Always follow the health policies at your school or workplace.
Head lice has over-the-counter treatments you may purchase at your local drug store. Ringworm and pinworms typically require a visit to your primary care providers office to get the appropriate prescription.
How Long Am I Contagious When I Have The Flu
The flu is a viral infection that can leave you out of commission for several days and can stay contagious for even longer.
It is one of the most common illnesses every year with millions of people getting the flu but you may not be sure when you are no longer contagious if you had it.
In this article, we will answer all those questions and discuss what the flu is, its symptoms, and how it is spread.
We will also provide information on treatment options and ways to prevent the spread of the virus.
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When Are You Contagious
Another factor that contributes to how the flu spreads is when exactly you may be contagious. Unlike many common illnesses that are only contagious when you’re experiencing symptoms, the flu can be contagious 24 hours before your symptoms appear, so you’re likely out there spreading the virus before you ever know that 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.
Children can spread the virus for longerup 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.
Flu symptoms generally don’t come on gradually. More often, people describe the onset of the flu as if they were “hit by a truck.” You feel fine, and then suddenly, an hour later, you feel like you can hardly move. The flu is definitely not just a bad coldit is something else entirely.
What Are The Treatment Options For The Flu
If you are a healthy adult you will most likely not need to see your doctor and can recover at home.
To aid in your recovery, there are a few things you can do and these include:
- Get lots of rest
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
- Take over-the-counter medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen for your fever
You may also want to take an over-the-counter cough suppressant if you develop a bad cough too.
See your doctor if you have severe symptoms or you develop a complication.
Your doctor may prescribe one of the four antiviral medications that are approved by the CDC to help combat the flu. These antiviral medications include:
- Baloxavir marboxil
Taking antiviral drugs can make your symptoms milder and shorter and also help prevent hospitalization.
It is important to note that these antiviral medicines work best when you start taking them within the first 48 hours of when your symptoms start.
Antibiotics will not help with the flu since it is a virus and they are only useful against bacterial infections.
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How Does The Flu Spread
During the cold winter months, the flu spreads rapidly. We know that it is highly contagious and can be spread before you even have symptoms. But do you know how it is spread and passed from person to person so easily?
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not due to cold weather. Although the cold, dry air may mean the virus moves and infects people more easily, it does not actually cause the illness. It’s also not really spread through the air the way many people think it is.
Preventing The Flu After Exposure
Although there are various products and remedies that may claim to help prevent illness once you’ve been exposed to the flu, none of them have proven to be effective. Your best bet to prevent the flu is to get your annual flu vaccine. Although it’s not 100 percent effective at preventing the flu, it gives you a much better chance of avoiding the illness than anything else.
If you are exposed to someone with the flu, avoid close contact with the person and wash your hands frequently.
- Vitamin C: Although vitamin C is widely used and has many benefits, there is no scientific proof that it will help you avoid an illness such as the flu or a cold.
- Humidifiers: Evidence suggests that viruses such as the cold and flu spread more easily in cold, dry air. This is one of the reasons that they’re more common during the winter. Running a humidifier in your home during the winter can help keep your nasal passages moist. And while there’s no guarantee that this will prevent you from getting sick, it can’t hurt .
- Antiviral medications: If you’re at high risk for complications from the flu and you know you were exposed to it, talk to your healthcare provider about taking antiviral medications. It can help prevent influenza in some people and will reduce the severity of the symptoms in those who do get it.
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