How long does the flu last?
Winter has arrived and with it, common winter illnesses like the flu.
You know when you’ve had a particularly bad dose of the flu: it can completely wipe you out and leave you no choice but to head straight to bed and rest.
This year has been headlined by the pandemic, and while much of the advice is similar for avoiding Coronavirus and the flu, we know that the flu is no pushover so here’s our advice on dealing with this common illness.
What is the flu exactly?
Flu is a very common infectious viral illness. It’s spread when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes around you. Everyday items at home and in public places can easily become contaminated with the flu virus. If you do catch it, you should stay at home to protect others, and make sure you keep warm and drink plenty of water.
The flu will feel like a severe cold and will have some of the following symptoms:
- Tiredness and weakness
- General aches and pains
- A dry, chesty cough
When you do have the flu, how long does it last?
The flu can really knock you off your feet at first, the good news is that feeling won’t last for long. The flu sneaks up on most of us as it has a very short incubation period of a few days before symptoms appear. Unfortunately, because of this incubation period where we’re infectious but don’t know it, is how we can unknowingly pass it on to our friends and family.
The first few days of symptoms are usually the worst. This is when rest and recovery is most important, so a few days in bed with some daytime TV or a catchup on your Netflix list is in order.
The initial symptoms may last for up to a week but will eventually start to ease off, with a full recovery expected in around two weeks if you don’t have any underlying medical conditions. Children and adults with weaker immune systems may unfortunately have to endure the symptoms of flu for a little bit longer.
Relieve some of those symptoms
When the flu hits us, we usually know pretty quickly. Thankfully there are some things you can do to feel a bit better whilst you work your way back to 100%.
Rest is key, sleeping can help boost your immune system, take the time to relax and let your body do its thing.
Drinking plenty of fluids when you have the flu can also help, keeping your body hydrated whilst it fights off the virus.
There are many over the counter medications that can help to ease some of the more severe symptoms of the flu, like fever or headaches.
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a test as soon as possible here. Stay at home until you get the result.