How long does the flu last (Influenza)

How long does the flu last

How long does the flu last

How long does the flu last: A lot of people suffering from a common cold or flu lookup online to the answer of this question. Well, lets discuss about it from begging.

What is Flu or Influenza ?

Influenza, or flu, is a serious respiratory illness caused by a particular virus. Influenza is highly contagious and is usually spread by the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. It also spreads through the touch of the infected person.

Adults are contagious 24-48 hours before getting symptoms and up to 7 days after becoming infected or ill. So, this means you can spread this infection to your loved ones or friends before even knowing you are infected.

As per WHO data, Over 200,000 people are hospitalized from Influenza complications each year, and about 36,000 people approximately  die as a result of flu complications.

A flu epidemic, when a large number of people in one country are infected with flu, can last for months. Recently in Austria, for example 70% of Vienna citizens got infected in 2014 with Influenza. Many deaths occurred due to the same. You can read more about this spread out here.

How long does the flu last

What are the symptoms of Influenza or flu.


It is common to confuse flu with a bad cold. Flu and cold symptoms may include a runny/blocked nose, sore throat, and cough.

Below are some of the flu(Influenza) symptoms that are different from heavy cold symptoms:

  1. High temperature
  2. Headaches
  3. Cold sweats, shivers
  4. Aching body joints and limbs
  5. High Fatigue, feeling exhausted,
  6. feeling no energy is left in body
  7. Gastro-intestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (these are much more common in children than adults)
  8. Loose motions

How long does the flu last

The risk of experiencing severe flu complications is higher for certain people:
  1. New born Babies or young children
  2. Over 65s
  3. People with weak immune system
  4. Pregnant ladies.
  5. People with heart or cardiovascular diseases
  6. Individuals with chest related problems, such as asthma or bronchitis
  7. Individuals with kidney disease
  8. People with diabetes
  9. People taking steroids and energy drinks
  10. patients undergoing treatment for cancer

Many of  the complications caused by flu may include dehydration, bacterial pneumonia worsening of existing chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Children may get some sinus problems and ear infections. The seasonal patterns of influenza and upper airway infection were found to be linked to a higher incidence of narcolepsy, by researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine.

Treatments for flu

As flu is caused by a virus named influenza A type H3N2. So,antibiotics cannot help, unless the flu has led your body to another illness caused by bacteria such as bacterial pneumonia. Some of the symptoms, such as headache and body pains may be alleviated by painkillers. Do not delay the visit to your doctor as soon as you feel any of the symptoms mentioned above.

Many painkillers, such as aspirin, should not be given to children under 12.

Precautions for Individuals with flu:

  1. Stay at home
  2. Avoid contact with other people where possible
  3. Keep warm and rest
  4. Consume plenty of liquids
  5. Stop smoking
  6. Avoid alcohol
  7. Try to Eat if possible

Prevention of influenza

Government agencies and health experts throughout the world say that the single best way to protect oneself from catching flu is to get vaccinated every year. Specially in countries where flu occurs every year. There are two types of vaccinations, the flu shot and the nasal-spray flu vaccine. The flu shot is given with a needle, usually in the arm – it has been approved for anyone older than 6 months, including healthy people and even those who have chronic medical conditions. Whereas, The nasal-spray flu vaccine is a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause illness.

A flu vaccine will contain three influenza viruses – One A (H3N2) virus, one A (H1N2) virus, and one B virus. As viruses change and adapt, so do those contained within the vaccinations – the ingredients in them are based on international surveillance and scientists’ calculations about which virus types and strains may circulate in a given year. Thus, Protection begins about 2 weeks after receiving the vaccination.

The annual flu vaccinations start in September or as soon as the vaccine is on hand and should continue throughout the flu season, into January, and beyond. It is because the duration and timing of influenza seasons are never the same. Influenza outbreaks usually at peak around January, but they can happen as early as September.

For an infant whose mother was given a flu jab while pregnant is 50% less likely to be infected flu than other infants whose mothers were not given the shot while they were pregnant, according to researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

The influenza vaccine is not suitable for some people
Some individuals must check with their doctor before deciding to have the flu vaccine:

  1. Individuals who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, chicken etc.
  2. Individuals with a severe reaction to a flu vaccination in the past
  3. People with Guillain-Barré Syndrome within 6 weeks of receiving a flu vaccine
  4. Infants under 6 months old

How Influenza Spreads

Tags:How long does the flu last, Prevention of influenza, Precautions for Individuals with flu, Treatments for flu, What are the symptoms of Influenza or flu, What is Flu or Influenza ?, How long is the flu contagious