If you do get the flu, this may worry you. You may also wonder how long it takes to get sick after getting infected and how long it is contagious when you have it.
Influenza incubation period
The typical incubation period for influenza (the time between infection and the onset of symptoms) ranges from 24 hours to four days, with an average of two days. This means that if you have been exposed to the flu virus and become infected, you will develop flu symptoms such as fever and body aches within 24 hours to four days after infection .
When are you contagious?
Another factor that influences the spread of the flu is when exactly you could become infected. Unlike many common illnesses, which are only contagious when you experience symptoms, the flu can be contagious for up to 24 hours before symptoms appear, so you are probably spreading the virus even before you know you have it. Add that to the number of people trying to get rid of 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.
Once symptoms appear, adults can spread the virus for 5 to 10 days, but after 3 to 5 days, the spread of the virus is significantly reduced. Adults are most contagious with the flu from 24 hours before symptoms appear and up to three to five days after.
Children can transmit the virus for longer, up to 10 days, and sometimes longer. People with severe immune system problems can carry the flu for weeks or even months after being infected.
Flu symptoms do not usually appear gradually. Most of the time, people describe the onset of the flu as "hit by a truck." You feel good and suddenly after an hour you feel like you can barely move. The flu is definitely not just a cold, it is something else entirely .
How is the flu spread?
The flu spreads quickly during the cold winter months. We know that it is highly contagious and that it can spread even before symptoms appear. But do you know how it spreads and spreads so easily from person to person?
Contrary to popular belief, this is not due to the cold . While cold, dry air may mean that the virus is easier to travel and infects people, it doesn't actually cause illness. Also, it does not spread through the air, as many people think.
Influenza is spread by airborne droplets, which means that if you cough, sneeze, or catch something in your respiratory system , you could spread it to someone else. This can happen in two ways.
First, if you sneeze, cough, or speak, microscopic droplets are launched into the air up to 6 feet away. Anyone around you can breathe in these droplets that contain the flu virus.
Another possibility is that the droplets that you sneeze, cough, or exhale land on the objects and the next person who touches the object and then touches the eyes, mouth, or nose may become infected. If this person's immune system cannot kill the virus, they will develop symptoms one to four days after infection. Now they also transmit the virus themselves, even before symptoms appear.
Protect yourself and others
Most people know to stay home if they get sick with something like the flu (although many people don't). However, it is quite difficult to prevent transmission of the virus if you don't even know you have it .
This is one of the reasons flu vaccines are so important. If you get the flu vaccine, your body has a chance to fight it before it spreads through your body, and you are less likely to pass it on to others or get sick yourself.
If you get sick, stay home.
Know when to call a sick person to work , wash your hands frequently, and make sure those who come in contact with you do the same. Cover your cough and do your best to stay away from people who are at high risk for serious complications from the flu.
We must all prevent the spread of the flu virus. Even if you think it is not serious for you, if you get it, it could be for someone you are passing it to.
Prevention of influenza after infection.
While there are a variety of foods and remedies that can help prevent illness after exposure to the flu, none have been shown to be effective. The best way to prevent the flu is to get a yearly flu shot. While it is not 100 percent effective in preventing the flu, it gives you a much better chance of avoiding illness than anything else.
If you do get the flu, avoid close contact with that person and wash your hands often .
- Vitamin C : Although vitamin C is widely used and has many benefits, there is no scientific evidence that it can help you avoid illnesses like the flu or the common cold.
- Humidifiers : Evidence suggests that viruses like colds and flu are more easily transmitted in cold, dry air. This is one of the reasons why they are more common in winter. Using a humidifier in your home during the winter will help keep your nasal passages moist. And while there's no guarantee that it will keep you sick, it won't hurt you (if you keep it clean).
- Antiviral medications : If you are at high risk for complications from the flu and you know you have the flu, talk to your doctor about the possibility of taking antiviral medications. It can help prevent the flu in some people and reduce the severity of symptoms in those who do get it.
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Of course, try not to get the flu at all. Make sure you get a flu shot, wash your hands often, and avoid people with the flu. The flu should not be taken lightly, and if you do get infected, stay away from other people when you are sick.