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Flu cases are on the rise: How long do you have to be contagious if you have the flu?
27 Jan' 21

Flu cases are on the rise: How long do you have to be contagious if you have the flu?

 

 

During the COVID-19 period, flu and viral illnesses are on the rise. While we wait for a possible third wave of COVID-19, flu illnesses have been increasing at an unprecedented rate in India and around the world.  

The severity and duration of the flu outbreaks currently in the news are also exceedingly unusual. Previously thought to be mild and controllable flu symptoms are now lasting longer and are just as transmissible as COVID-19. Without enough education or testing, the flu can now easily be passed on to others.

 

What is the duration of the flu? Is there any resemblance to COVID-19?  

The influenza virus causes the flu, a respiratory illness. A flu infection can persist up to a week, however a COVID-19 infection is one of the longer-lasting infections (requiring a long time of isolation). Even with the flu, as with COVID-19, some post-viral symptoms might remain, giving the impression of a long bout of flu-like symptoms. 

Even while flu is a totally distinct condition from COVID-19, both are respiratory infections with very different symptoms, and it's crucial to remember that at a time when we're already dealing with colitis. 

 

What causes flu cases to last so long? How long does it take for the virus to spread?  

The present strain of flu viruses has a low exposure risk, which is one of the reasons why symptoms can stay longer. Last year's flu infections were milder, but we were also taking basic hygiene precautions. Not only has our flu virus exposure lessened, but the virus's incubation period, or the time between contracting the virus and presenting symptoms, must also be taken into account. An average incubation time for the flu is two days, although it can last up to four days. 

 

Which is more contagious COVID or flu? 

Because the flu has a larger risk of spreading than COVID (because we are now more cautious about COVID and may dismiss flu symptoms as a regular cold), it can be exceedingly hazardous and easy to spread. Experts also believe that when someone has the flu, they are most contagious in the first 3-4 days, when they are more likely to experience symptoms like coughing and sneezing, which can lead to the discharge of respiratory droplets. Contagion risk can be high a day before you start to feel symptoms, similar to COVID. 

Also read whats the difference between influenza A and influenza B ?

 

Should you wear masks and stay at home ?

Even if you have the flu, staying at home until your symptoms start to fade is always a good idea because there's a chance of respiratory droplets and symptoms spreading (5-7 days after contracting the virus). The lowering of a fever without the use of medications can be seen as a sign that you are healthy enough to be around other people.  

While the flu necessitates plenty of rest and recuperation, masks can be worn to minimize the spread of respiratory droplets to those in your immediate vicinity who may be at risk. Even if it's less serious than COVID-19 and doesn't require the same set of specific protocols (such as quarantine and self-isolation), taking basic precautions will help you recover quickly. 

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