How long does flu last? | Flu Symptoms and What to Look Out For

How long does flu last?

/ 08:46 AM May 10, 2021

Do you have a runny nose and even perhaps a sore throat? Do you feel weak and lazy and don’t feel like going to work or school? It’s most likely that you’re coming down with influenza. Influenza, more commonly known as flu, can cause weakness in your body.

It is best to get a flu shot or a flu vaccine annually. However, it is imperative to have basic knowledge about it in case you do catch the flu. A sudden sore throat and muscle aches might cause you to worry if you don’t know what’s causing it.

You should also have information about how long does flu lasts and how to treat it. It is not just about you. If you have flu-like symptoms, staying home is suggested to ensure that you do not spread the virus. To prepare yourself and protect others, get thoroughly informed here.

What Are Some Of The Flu Symptoms?

What Are Some Of The Flu Symptoms?

The flu typically affects the nose, mouth, and lungs. While it can vary in severity from moderate to extreme, the symptoms are more or less the same. If any of these symptoms start, it is advisable to isolate yourself and create the needed treatment.

  • Fever (not necessarily)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches

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What Are The Stages Of The Flu?

What Are The Stages Of The Flu?

While the intensity of flu symptoms vary, they do follow a predictable pattern. Because of this, you can expect to deal with it in the same way as anyone else does.

Let’s divide the stages into days so you know exactly how long does flu lasts. This will also help you keep track of your health situation.

Days 1-3

During days 1 to 3, the virus first joins and multiplies inside your body. When you catch the flu, you’re still infectious before you even see the signs. You can feel great for up to 48 hours before experiencing flu-like symptoms.


Days 4-5

From the fourth day, the flu symptoms start to appear. You will develop a sore throat and a possible fever. Once you start experiencing these symptoms, you should avoid work or school.

At this point, the severity is unknown, and staying at home is the best solution. Do not forget that you are contagious.

Days 6-10

You’ll start to get worse over the next several hours. It is most likely that you come down with a headache, sudden fever, muscle aches, chills, and nausea during this stage. You will constantly be sneezing and coughing.

Remember to cover your mouth while sneezing and coughing. Wash your hands regularly and dump your tissues immediately. The flu is still infectious.

Days 11-15

From days 11-15, the flu typically starts to clear. This is the recovery stage. By this time, your immune system has had time to build.

You will start to feel better. You may not feel as active as usual, but there is no need to panic. Just continue to take care of yourself.

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How To Treat The Flu At Home?

How To Treat The Flu At Home?

If the symptoms start and are of mild severity, you can do a couple of things to provide yourself relief. The first and the foremost is staying home to ensure your body gets ample rest. This will allow your immune system to recover and build itself.

You should also take a lot of fluids. To help ease your symptoms, you should take over-the-counter pain and fever relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Should You Consult The Doctor?

Flu typically clears up within a week and can mostly be treated with home remedies. If it has been days after symptoms started or if the patient has pre-existing complications, medical help should be sought as soon as possible.

Also, if you experience any of the situations below, contact a doctor immediately.

  • If the fever is higher than 103 degrees
  • Continuous high fever for more than three days
  • Trouble in breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Unusual skin rashes

In some situations, you may feel like the symptoms improve, but they either return or worsen. You must monitor your health for a quick recovery.

Who Is At Increased Risk From The Flu?

Who Is At Increased Risk From The Flu?

Since the flu is highly infectious, individuals with pre-existing conditions should be extra cautious. Otherwise, complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections can occur.

Additionally, it can also cause those pre-existent issues to worsen. When an asthmatic person contracts the flu, for example, their breathing problems can intensify.

You’re at a higher risk of having flu-related complications if you are:

  • older than 65 years or under the age of 5 years
  • are pregnant or two weeks postpartum
  • are severely overweight (BMI of 40 or more)
  • live in a long-term care hospital or a nursing home
  • have a chronic disease, such as asthma, diabetes, or COPD
  • have a compromised immune system
  • a problem with the liver or kidneys

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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I avoid getting the flu?

The best way is to get annually vaccinated for the flu. The next best thing is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Get lots of sleep, exercise regularly, manage your tension, stay hydrated, and eat healthy foods. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, or school. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face.

Is there a flu season?

The flu season is a recurring time cycle marked by the occurrence of an influenza epidemic. In each hemisphere, the season happens during the colder half of the year.

What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

Colds are prevalent, and 200 different viruses can cause them. A cold does not have a vaccine. On the other hand, flu is a bacterial virus that affects the nose, mouth, and lungs. The flu vaccine is available.


Different individuals are affected by the flu in different ways. How the flu affects the person, what symptoms they experience, how long does flu lasts, and how severe it will get varies from one person to another.

There are no fixed phenomena of the whole process. What a person can do is be careful and be aware of one’s health in any case.

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