Flu Guru

...your single source for flu news and information

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Flu Time Line

Seasonal and swine flu both last for about 7 to 10 days. During this time, the body goes through a series of changes as it tries to fight off the invasion of the flu virus. The duration of flu symptoms will depend upon whether or not the person begins proper treatment, but even without it, most flu viruses will end within 10 days.

Exposure to the flu and prevention methods

A person can be exposed to someone with the flu but not feel any effects from it for up to three days. Ways in which the flu spreads include: coughing or sneezing on someone and using the same utensils as a sick person. To prevent from getting others the flu, the infected person should avoid close contact with others, cough into his sleeve, use disposable tissues and discard immediately after use, and do not share food or drinks with others. Those who contract the flu are encouraged to remain at home until they have been fever free for 24 hours.

Symptomatic phase of the flu and duration of flu symptoms

After exposure to the flu, symptoms appear suddenly. This is one of the main factors in determining cold vs flu symptoms. A cold can take days to fully develop, but within a short amount of time, flu symptoms, which are the same as the H1N1 flu pandemic, appear. The tell-tale signs of the flu include a high fever, over 100 degrees Fahrenheit; cough; body aches; chills; and occasionally nausea or diarrhea. Getting to the doctor quickly is the best way to shorten the duration of flu symptoms. A physician can prescribe an antiviral medication which will act effectively against both the swine flu and the seasonal flu. These drugs reduce the amount of time the symptoms are felt. For most people, left untreated, the duration of flu symptoms will be five to seven days, but with antiviral medications this time can be reduced to just two to three days.

Some physicians will not automatically offer antiviral medications to all of their patients, but those who are more likely to be at risk for complications such as pneumonia will be given the medicine. If complications arise, the duration of flu symptoms will be longer than the expected seven to ten total days. Should flu symptoms improve, but suddenly worsen, the doctor needs to be contacted immediately.

The duration of flu symptoms and symptoms of swine flu will be about the same seven to ten days untreated or three to seven days with antiviral medications. Either path chosen by the physician, the patient with the flu should avoid others until the symptoms have been gone for at least twenty-four hours.

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