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How Long is Flu Contagious? & How to Treat Flu at Home?

How Long is Flu Contagious – Every year, several countries like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and others record a huge number of flu cases. Health experts around the world, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suggest everyone ensure their safety against general flu.

Several infections, like general flu, do not impose major life-threatening conditions, but sometimes they can get out of hand and impose serious risk. The United States has not recorded many cases of flu and other viruses in the last two years.

The major reason behind the low number of flu infections was the COVID protocol. Most people in the country were following basic virus prevention techniques, including the use of face masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing that helped the CDC to contain the spread of flu.

Now, people have already disposed of the COVID protocol and its guidelines. Most people do not want to wear a face mask, use hand sanitizer or maintain social distancing whenever they are in public places. This has been causing a huge problem for public health departments.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been suggesting Americans learn as much as possible about flu and other viruses to ensure their safety. That is why we are seeing a sharp rise in queries like how long the flu is contagious.

How long is a Person Contagious with the Flu?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States believe that the contagious period of flow can be a little bit different for each person, depending on their previous medical conditions.

For example, immunocompromised people and infants can be contagious for a little bit longer period as compared to others. The below-given estimations are for healthy adults. For more information on the contagious period, we highly recommend everyone consult their healthcare provider.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States believe that a person is contagious with flu at least one day before the start of the symptoms and up to 7 days after the symptoms have already started.

The CDC also believes that people are most contagious during the first 3 to 5 days once the illness has already begun. To clear all of your doubts about the contagious period, we highly recommend you learn everything about the timeline of flu infection.

In total, you can be contagious of Flu for around 5 to 7 days or more, Depending on your medical history.

Once you have understood the timeline of exposure and symptoms, you will be able to connect all these things.

How Long is Flu Contagious
How Long is Flu Contagious

The Incubation period for Flu infection 

Experts around the world believe that, unlike any other virus, there is no fixed incubation period for flu infection.

Most people develop flu symptoms within 24 hours of getting exposed to the virus. Unlike any other virus, the symptoms of flu appear suddenly, and you might not even realize that you have been exposed to the virus.

There is a high probability that you will be feeling fit and fine in one minute and have a high-grade fever in just a few hours.

That is why healthcare experts around the world believe that a person is most contagious just one day before the appearance of symptoms.

Duration of Flu Symptoms

Once a person has crossed the incubation period, the symptoms of flu will Appear. Health experts around the world believe that most symptoms associated with the flu infection are also similar to other viruses, including COVID-19 and the common cold.

Kindly do not self-diagnose yourself for flu or any other virus. Always seek a medical professional for the diagnosis. Many symptoms are associated with other conditions, and you should not be focusing on just one or two symptoms.

Symptoms of flow usually peak between day two and day 4.

Most people start feeling better after the 5th day off the start of the symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and prevention do not suggest anyone go to school or the office till they are Struggling with a fever.

Once a person can spend 24 hours fever free without using any anti-fever medicine, then they are completely free to go anywhere. If the fever is going away with anti-fever medicine combat, then you should remain home and seek medical assistance.

As you are aware, most people will start feeling better after the 5th day of the start of the symptoms, but it doesn’t mean that all symptoms will go away on the 5th day.

There is a high probability that you will keep experiencing some symptoms associated with the condition for a longer period. Some people might even spend weeks before all the symptoms completely disappear.

What are the Symptoms of Flu Infection?

Our analysis is incomplete unless we discuss the general symptoms of flu infection. Health experts around the world and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States believe that most symptoms associated with the flu are also common with cold and COVID-19.

There is no fixed order of symptoms that can help you diagnose yourself for any of the viruses or conditions. You should always seek a professional for the diagnosis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have listed out some common symptoms of flu, which include:

  • Body pain
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • High-grade fever
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dry cough
  • Vomiting
  • Congestion
  • Sore throat

As you can see in the above-given list, flu infection is not known to cause any serious symptoms. Healthcare experts around the world believe that most people can get better within seven days once the symptoms appear.

Still, everyone who falls in the high-risk category should consult the treatment options with their healthcare provider. 

If you are not able to feel better within the first seven days of the start of the symptoms or new symptoms are appearing every day, including year pain, then you should call your healthcare provider right away.

  • Difficulty while breathing
  • Fever above 104 Fahrenheit
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Pain while walking 
  • Loud noises while breathing
  • Lose consciousness
  • Seem confused
  • Start having seizures
  • Making chronic conditions worse
  • Symptoms keep coming back
  • No urination

If you start experiencing any of the above-given symptoms after getting diagnosed with a flu infection, then you should be very careful, as all these symptoms are known to cause life-threatening conditions. 

Symptoms like severe muscle pain or difficulty breathing are not common symptoms, and most people are not going to even experience them.

How to Treat Flu Infection at Home

Healthcare experts suggest everyone rest as much as possible to get better from flu infection. Even if you visit any nearby healthcare provider, they will also suggest you rest as much as possible and have plenty of fluids to stay hydrated even with a fever.

People who fall in the high-risk category and people who are already struggling with severe infection might have to seek medical assistance.

  • One of the best ways to treat flu infection at home is to drink plenty of liquids and rest as much as possible.
  • You can also use fever-reducing and pain-reliever medicines, including Tylenol and ibuprofen.

Who is at higher risk of developing severe flu infection?

Before we completely Wrap our session, let’s take a quick look at the high-risk categories. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believe that anyone can get a severe flu infection, but people who fall into any of the below-given categories are the most vulnerable.

  • Every child under age 2 is in the high-risk category.
  • Adults above the age of 65 Also fall into the similar high-risk category.
  • All Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities should also take good care of themselves.
  • Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant during the flu season should also be very careful.
  • People who are struggling with chronic conditions and have weakened immune systems.
  • American Indians or Alaska Natives are also in the same category.
  • People who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, and diabetes, are also at high risk of developing severe cases. 
  • People with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher also fall into a similar category. 

If you fall in any of the above-given categories, then you should consult the treatment options with your healthcare provider as early as you have tested positive for the same.

How to prevent flu infection?

It is very easy to prevent flu infection. First of all, you should make sure you are washing your hands at regular intervals. At the same time, you should also avoid touching your face whenever you are in public places. You can also avoid visiting any crowded places without using any high-quality mask. Lastly, you can also get flu shots to prevent the infection in the first place.

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