Everything You Need to Know About the Flu

In a standard year, flu season occurs from fall to early spring — and with it comes sniffling, sneezing, coughing, fatigue, and all the acquainted trappings of the flu.

The severity of the infection varies via individual, but the COVID-19 pandemic lends a brand new urgency to protect ourselves while both of those viruses surge in the coming months.

Flu shots are usually vital, however, they’re even more essential this year to defend the populace, and particularly prone businesses, from getting flu at the same time as COVID-19 continues to be a threat.

What’s the difference between a cold and the flu?

The commonplace cold and the flu can also appear similar at the beginning. They’re both respiratory illnesses and might motive similar signs and symptoms. But exclusive viruses reason for those two situations.

Your symptoms assist you in telling the difference among them.

Both a chilly and the flu proportion some common symptoms. People with either contamination often enjoy:

  • runny or stuffy nostril
  • sneezing
  • body aches
  • general fatigue

As a rule, flu signs are extra extreme than cold signs.

Another distinct difference between the 2 is how critical they may be. Colds not often reason different fitness conditions or problems. But the flu can result in:

  • sinusitis
  • ear infections
  • pneumonia
  • sepsis

If your signs and symptoms are intense, you could need to confirm either a chilly or flu diagnosis. Your health practitioner will run assessments which can help determine what’s behind your signs.

During the COVID-19 epidemic, name beforehand the protocol for traveling with a medical doctor in character or having an online visit.

Cold and flu symptoms need to also be handled with care because of their overlap with COVID-19 signs and symptoms.

If your doctor diagnoses a cold, you’ll handiest want to deal with your symptoms till the virus has run its route. These remedies can encompass:

  • the usage of over-the-counter (OTC) cold medicinal drugs
  • staying hydrated
  • getting lots of rest

For the flu, taking flu medicinal drug early in the virus cycle might also assist lessen the severity of the infection and shorten the time when you’re sick. Rest and hydration also are beneficial for humans with the flu.

Much like the not-unusual bloodless, the flu regularly simply wishes time to work its manner via your frame.

What’s the difference between the flu and COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19, the flu, and allergies have some overlap, but are regularly unique. The main signs of COVID-19 are:

  • tiredness
  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

Sneezing is not ordinary.

Flu signs are much like COVID-19 along with fever and body aches. But you can not find shortness of breath as a symptom of the flu.

Allergy signs and symptoms are generally more continual and encompass sneezing, coughing, and wheezing.

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Here are a number of the commonplace signs of the flu:


The flu almost constantly causes an increase in your frame temperature. This is also referred to as a fever.

Most flu-related fevers vary from a low-grade fever of around a hundred°F (37.8°C) to as high as 104°F (40°C).

Although alarming, it’s no longer uncommon for younger youngsters to have higher fevers than adults. If you watched your infant has the flu, see their doctor.

You may additionally feel “feverish” when you have an improved temperature. Signs include chills, sweats, or being cold in spite of your body’s high temperature. Most fevers close for much less than 1 week, usually around 3 to 4 days.


A dry, persistent cough is common with the flu. The cough might also get worse, becoming uncomfortable and painful.

You can also once in a while enjoy shortness of breath or chest soreness at some stage in this time. Many flu-associated coughs can be closing for approximately 2 weeks.

Muscle aches

Flu-related muscle pains are maximum, not unusual on your neck, back, palms, and legs. They can regularly be extreme, making it difficult to move even if looking to perform simple obligations.


Your first symptom of the flu may be an intense headache. Sometimes signs and symptoms, including light and sound sensitivity, go together with your headache.


Feeling tired is a no longer-so-apparent symptom of the flu. Feeling commonly ill may be a sign of many situations. These emotions of tiredness and fatigue may come on speedy and be difficult to conquer.

Learn extra about a way to understand the signs and symptoms of the flu.

Flu shot: Know the facts

Influenza is a serious virus that results in many ailments each year. You don’t have to be young or have a compromised immune system to get gravely ill from the flu. Healthy people can get ill from the flu and spread it to friends and their own family.

In some cases, the flu can even be deadly. Flu-associated deaths are most common in people a while 65 and older, however can be seen in children and teens.

The first-rate and most green way to avoid the flu and prevent spreading it’s miles to get a flu vaccination.

The flu vaccine is available in the following paperwork:

  • injectable shot
  • high-dose injectable shot (for the ones over age 65)
  • intradermal shot
  • nasal spray

The extra human beings that get vaccinated towards the flu, the much less the flu can spread. It also helps with herd immunity, helping to shield those who can’t get the vaccine for medical reasons.

Vaccination can also help lessen the severity of the contamination if you do turn out to be getting the flu.

How does the flu shot work?

To make the vaccine, scientists select the strains of the flu virus that research indicates might be the most commonplace in the coming flu season. Millions of vaccines with the ones traces are produced and dispensed.

Once you obtain the vaccine, your body begins generating antibodies towards those strains of the virus. These antibodies offer protection in opposition to the virus.

If you return to contact with the flu virus at a later factor, you may avoid contracting it.

You can also get sick in case you emerge as coming into contact with the extraordinary stress of the virus. But the symptoms can be less extreme because you had the vaccination.

Who have to get the flu shot?

Doctors propose that everybody over the age of 6 months receive the flu vaccine. This is specifically actual for people in high-hazard categories like:

  • pregnant women
  • children below the age of 5
  • humans aged 18 and beneath who acquire aspirin remedy
  • humans over age 65
  • people whose body mass index is forty or better
  • everybody working or dwelling in a nursing domestic or chronic care facility
  • caregivers to any of the above
  • American Indians or Alaska Natives
  • anyone with chronic medical conditions

Most medical doctors also endorse that everyone receives their flu vaccine through the give-up of October. This way your frame has time to develop the proper antibodies earlier than flu season kicks into equipment.

Even in case you don’t get the flu shot by October 31, it’s not too past due. Even if it’s nicely into flu season, it’s usually useful to get the flu shot.

It takes about 2 weeks for antibodies to expand towards the flu after vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that each flu and the brand new coronavirus, COVID-19, could be spreading this year. Because of this, the vaccine might be more crucial than ever.

Side effects of the flu shot

Many human beings document averting the flu vaccine each year for worry that it’ll cause them to be unwell. It’s vital to apprehend that the flu vaccine can’t cause you to expand the flu.

You aren’t going to emerge as ill because you obtained the vaccine. Flu vaccines comprise lifeless flu virus. These strains aren’t sturdy sufficient to motive contamination.

Like different photographs, you could enjoy some aspects effects from the flu shot. These facet effects are frequently slight and simplest closing a brief time period. The aspect results of a shot outweigh the possible signs and symptoms of developing the flu later.

The most common side consequences of the flu shot include:

  • pain across the injection website
  • low-grade fever in the days right now following the injection
  • slight aches and stiffness

Any aspect effects that do occur regularly ultimate most effective a day or. Many people won’t revel in any side consequences in any respect.

On uncommon occasions, a few people may also have a serious allergy to the vaccination. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to any vaccine or remedy before, communicate along with your health practitioner.

How long does the flu last?

Most human beings recover from the flu in approximately per week. But it is able to take numerous greater days if you want to sense again on your usual self. It’s not unusual to feel tired for numerous days after your flu symptoms have subsided.

It’s vital to stay domestic from college or work till you’ve been free of fever for a minimum of 24 hours (and that’s without taking fever-lowering medicines).

If you have the flu, it is able to be handed to some other person an afternoon earlier than your signs appear and up to 5–7 days in a while.

If you have got any bloodless or flu signs and symptoms throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, you ought to isolate yourself whilst getting examined and preserve to practice good hygiene together with:

  • washing your fingers
  • disinfecting high-touch areas
  • sporting a face covering
  • avoiding contact with others

Treatment options for the flu

Most instances of the flu are slightly sufficient that you may deal with yourself at domestic without prescription medicinal drugs.

It’s important you live domestically and avoid touch with different people when you first observe flu signs.

You must also:

  • Drink lots of fluids. This consists of water, soup, and occasional-sugar flavored liquids.
  • Treat signs and symptoms which include headache and fever with OTC medicinal drugs.
  • Wash your arms to save you from spreading the virus to different surfaces or to different human beings in your private home.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with tissues. Immediately eliminate the one’s tissues.
  • Wear a face mask while in public.

If signs come to be worse, call your health practitioner. They might also prescribe an antiviral medicinal drug. The sooner you take this medicinal drug, the greater effective it will far. You should begin treatment within 48 hours from when your symptoms begin.

Contact your physician as quickly as signs and symptoms seem if you’re at excessive hazard for flu-related complications.

High-threat companies include:

  • humans with weakened immune systems
  • women who are pregnant or up to 2 weeks postpartum
  • those who are a minimum of 65 years old
  • kids under 5 years old(especially, the ones under age 2)
  • individuals who live in persistent care facilities or nursing homes
  • humans who have chronic conditions, which include heart or lung disorder
  • folks who are of Native American (American Indian or Alaska Native) descent

Your physician might also take a look at the flu virus proper away. They may additionally prescribe an antiviral remedy to prevent complications.

When is flu season?

In the USA, the main flu season stretches from October to March. Cases of the flu height between December and February, according to the CDC. But you could get flu at any time of the 12 months.

You’re much more likely to get unwell during the fall and iciness months. This is because you’re spending more time in close quarters with other people and are also exposed to masses of various ailments.

You’re much more likely to catch the flu if you have already got an exclusive virus. This is due to the fact other infections can weaken your immune device and make you more vulnerable to new ones.

Remedies for flu signs and symptoms

Having the flu isn’t a laugh. But remedies for flu signs are available, and lots of them offer amazing alleviation.

Keep these treatments in thoughts when you have the flu:

  • Pain relievers. Analgesics like acetaminophen and ibuprofen are regularly endorsed to assist in easing signs. These encompass muscle aches and pains, headache, and fever.
  • Decongestants. This sort of remedy can assist relieve nasal congestion and stress on your sinuses and ears. Each sort of decongestant can have a few facet consequences, so make sure to examine labels to locate the only one that’s fine for you.
  • Expectorants. This kind of medicine facilitates loosening thick sinus secretions that make your head feel clogged and purpose coughing.
  • Cough suppressants. Coughing is a not unusual flu symptom, and a few medicinal drugs can assist relieve it. If you don’t want to take medicine, a few cough drops use honey and lemon to ease a sore throat and cough.

Warning: Children and teenagers have to in no way take aspirin for any infection. This is due to the risk of a unprecedented however fatal condition 

Be cautious no longer to mix medicines. Using useless remedies ought to motive unwanted side results. It’s fine to take medicines that observe your major symptoms.

In the period in between, get plenty of relaxation. Your body is preventing difficulty against the influenza virus, so you want to present it with masses of downtime. Call in sick, stay at home and get better. Don’t go to paintings or faculty with a fever.

You should also drink plenty of fluids. Water, low-sugar sports activities beverages, and soup let you stay hydrated. Warm beverages like soup and tea have the added advantage of assisting ease aches from a sore throat.

Flu symptoms in adults

Flu-related fever appears in adults and can be severe. For many adults, a surprisingly high fever is the earliest symptom of the flu. It can also be a sign of COVID-19.

Adults do not often spike a fever unless they have got a severe infection. The flu virus causes an abrupt high temperature that’s greater than 100°F (37.Eight°C).

Other viral infections, like a chilly, may additionally motive low-grade fevers.

Beyond this, children and adults proportion the various identical symptoms. Some human beings can also enjoy one or numerous signs greater than any other person. Each man or woman can be distinctive.

What’s the incubation length for the flu?

The common incubation length for the flu is 1 to 4 days. Incubation refers to the period at some stage in which the virus is in your body and growing.

During this time, you could no longer display any signs of the virus. That doesn’t imply that you aren’t capable of passing it to a person else. Many human beings are capable of transmitting the virus to others an afternoon before signs and symptoms appear.

The millions of tiny droplets that might be produced while we sneeze, cough, or speak, unfold the flu virus. These droplets enter your frame through your nose, mouth, or eyes.

You can also get the flu with the aid of touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.

Is there this kind of component because of the 24-hour flu?

The “24-hour flu” (or gastroenteritis) is a commonplace stomach infection that has nothing to do with influenza, notwithstanding sharing a name. The 24-hour stomach flu is due to a genus of viruses called norovirus.

The signs of norovirus consist of:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • belly cramping

These signs and symptoms occur inside the gastrointestinal gadget. That’s why the 24-hour flu is occasionally referred to as “belly flu.” Although it’s known as the “24-hour flu,” you will be ill for up to a few days.

The signs and symptoms of the 24-hour flu and influenza (the flu) are specific. The flu is a breathing illness. Respiratory device symptoms of the flu consist of:

  • coughing
  • complications
  • fever
  • runny nose
  • physical pain

Some humans with influenza may additionally revel in nausea and vomiting while they’re sick. But these signs aren’t as common in adults.

Is the flu contagious?

If you have the flu, you’re contagious — which means you can pass the flu to others.

Many people can spread the virus as early as an afternoon before they show symptoms. In other words, you’ll be transmitting the virus before you even understand that you’re unwell.

You can also nonetheless be spreading the virus 5 to 7 days after your signs and symptoms seem. Young youngsters are regularly able to bypass the virus for more than 7 days after signs first seem.

People who have a susceptible immune gadget may additionally experience the virus symptoms longer, too.

If you’ve got the flu or any flu signs, live at home. Do your element to prevent the unfold of the virus to other humans. If you’re diagnosed, alert absolutely everyone you came into touch with the day before your signs and symptoms are regarded.

What is the flu?

Influenza (the flu) is a common, infectious virus spread by means of droplets that input any other man or woman’s frame. From there, the virus takes preserves and begins to expand.

Each year, the flu spreads across America. A 2018 CDC take a look at found that the flu influences between three–to 11 percent of U.S. People each year. This money is owed to humans who have signs and symptoms.

Winter is the flu’s number one season, with a peak in February. But you could get the flu any time of the 12 months.

Many traces of the flu exist. Doctors and researchers determine which traces of the virus might be most not unusual each year.

Those strains are then used to provide vaccines. A flu vaccine is one of the easiest and most effective approaches to prevent the flu.

Is there medicine for the flu?

Medications called antiviral tablets can treat the flu. You can’t purchase these medicinal drugs over the counter at a pharmacy. They’re available through prescription, and you should visit a medical doctor or healthcare provider to obtain a prescription.

Antiviral medicinal drugs used to treat the flu can assist ease the symptoms. They can also shorten the period of the flu by way of an afternoon or two.

Taking antiviral medications may help if you get the flu, but these medicinal drugs also have aspect effects. Talk to your doctor to recognize the dangers.

Research indicates antiviral medications work satisfactorily in case you take them within 48 hours of having signs. If you omit that window, don’t fear. You may nonetheless see a gain from taking the drugs later.

This is especially true in case you’re at high hazard or are ill. Taking antiviral medications may also help protect you in opposition to flu headaches. These include pneumonia and different infections.

Early signs and symptoms of the flu

Symptoms of the flu appear speedy. This surprising onset of symptoms is regularly the flu’s first hallmark. With similar ailments, consisting of a chilly, it may take several days for signs and symptoms to emerge.

Another common early symptom of the flu is the breadth of pain. People with the flu record feeling uncomfortable all over their frame as an early symptom.

You may sense as if you’ve been “hit by a truck.” Getting off bed may seem to be difficult and sluggish. This feeling may be an early symptom of the flu.

After this, different symptoms of the flu may also start occurring, making it apparent you’ve got the virus.

Are there herbal flu remedies?

If left untreated, a typical case of the flu often is going away in approximately 1 week. During that time, you’ve got numerous remedy options for making signs and symptoms less complicated to handle.

Prescription antiviral drugs can lessen the severity of the infection. They also can shorten their period. Some OTC treatments can ease the symptoms as properly.

Some natural flu treatments may be beneficial for relieving signs. For example, for a sore throat or cough, a few options encompass:

  • honey
  • hot tea
  • hot soup

Of path, relaxation is likewise an essential part of getting better from the flu, or some other form of virus.

Your body is fighting tough to get well. It’s clever in an effort to stop, relax, and get greater sleep so your immune device can fight back in opposition to the virus.

Options for over-the-counter (OTC) flu medicinal drug

OTC medicines can help relieve symptoms of the flu, however, they gained’t deal with it. If you have the flu and are seeking out symptom relief, keep in mind these drug treatments:

  • Decongestants. Nasal decongestants assist split mucus for your sinuses. This allows you to blow your nose. Decongestants are available in several bureaucracies inclusive of nasal decongestants which are inhaled and oral (tablet) decongestants.
  • Cough suppressants. Coughing, specifically at night, is a common flu symptom. OTC cough drugs can ease or suppress your cough reflex. Cough drops or lozenges can soothe a sore throat and suppress coughing.
  • Expectorants. This sort of medicine may also assist you cough up phlegm if you have a number of mucus or congestion in your chest.

OTC “flu drug treatments” like NyQuil frequently comprise several of those kinds of capsules in a single tablet.

If you take such aggregate medications, avoid taking different medicines with it. This guarantees that you don’t take too much of any individual sort of medication.

What reasons for the flu?

The flu is an epidemic that’s spread in several methods. First, you can contract the virus from a person close to you who has the flu and sneezes, coughs, or talks.

The virus can also stay on inanimate items for 2 to 8 hours. If someone with the virus touched a common floor, like a door deal with or a keyboard, and you touch the identical surface, you could get the virus.

Once you have got the virus on your hand, it could affect your body if you contact your mouth, eyes, or nostrils.

You can get a vaccine against the flu. An annual flu vaccine facilitates your body put together for exposure to the virus. But flu viruses are morphing and changing. That’s why you want the flu shot every year, and mainly at the same time as COVID-19 is still energetic.

A flu shot allows you to activate your immune device to make antibodies in opposition to precise lines of influenza. Antibodies are what prevent infections.

It’s possible to get the flu after receiving the flu shot if you come into contact with other strains of the virus. Even then, it’s likely your signs and symptoms could be a whole lot much less severe than if you hadn’t had the vaccine in any respect.

This is due to the fact one-of-a-kind traces of influenza share no unusual factors (called cross-safety), which means that that the flu vaccine is capable of working against them, too.

Where can I get a flu shot?

Most medical doctors’ offices convey the vaccine. You may additionally get the vaccine at:

  • pharmacies
  • walk-in medical clinics
  • county or town health departments

Some employers and colleges additionally provide flu shot clinics on the website, though many are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those that might be open will start selling flu vaccines as the flu season progresses. Some even offer incentives together with coupons to encourage you to receive your vaccine.

If you have not discovered a flu shot company, use a flu shot locator like the Vaccine Finder. This website lists businesses, phone numbers, and hours of operation.

Flu shot for kids: What you should realize

Each year, loads of lots of youngsters get ill from the flu. Some of these ailments are intense and require hospitalization. Some even bring about demise.

Children who get the flu are regularly at a higher threat than adults who get sick from the flu. For example, kids under age 5 are more likely to need scientific treatment for the flu.

Severe headaches from influenza are maximum common in kids under 2 years old. If your toddler has a continual medical condition, like allergies or diabetes, the flu may be worse.

See your physician right away if your infant has been exposed to the flu or indicates flu signs and symptoms. Call ahead for the protocol around COVID-19 prevention.

The first-rate manner to defend your kids in opposition to the flu is with a flu vaccine. Vaccinate youngsters every year.

Doctors suggest flu vaccines for children beginning at 6 months old.

Some children between 6 months and 8 years can also want doses for safety against the virus. If your infant is receiving a vaccine for the first time, they will probably want doses.

If your infant best received one dose in the flu season previous, they may need two doses this flu season. Ask your child’s medical doctor what number of doses your child wishes.

Children under 6 months of age are too young for a flu vaccine. To protect them, ensure the humans around them get vaccinated. This includes family participants and care carriers.