Here’s how to know when you can be out and about again. Linking to a non-federal website does not constitute an endorsement by CDC or any of its employees of the sponsors or the information and products presented on the website. Since they kill bacteria rather than viruses, antibiotics won’t treat the flu. They can travel up to 6 feet. To receive weekly email updates about Seasonal Flu, enter your email address: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu duration. People with flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness begins. The flu also has a fairly long contagious period, beginning one day before an infected person experiences symptoms, and extending between 5 … The CDC recommends four FDA-approved drugs to treat the flu: baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza), oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab), and zanamivir (Relenza). These viruses spread through the air, just like influenza. Drink water and other non-caffeinated fluids and get as much rest as you can. People with flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins. About a week. We include products we think are useful for our readers. Find out how long the flu is contagious and when the contagious period for influenza begins and ends. You can also take an OTC cold remedy. In general, here’s how long you’re contagious with these common illnesses: You might still be contagious when you go back to work or school. Avoiding your triggers is the best way to ward off allergy symptoms. Your body will hurt, you’ll be tired, and you might run a fever over 100°F (37.8°C). If they happen at certain times of the year (like spring) and they stick around for a few weeks or months, you could have allergies. People often feel the achiness and fatigue first, before their respiratory symptoms develop. Typically, you’re contagious from 1 day before you have any symptoms. These drugs could shorten the time that you’re sick. How does the influenza virus spread? And they might shorten the length of time that you can spread the flu. They’re not contagious. Less often, a person might get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Typically, you’re contagious from 1 day before you have any symptoms. It’s the only way not to spread the flu. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be able to infect others with flu viruses for an even longer time. Also, hold off on returning to work if your treatments are causing side effects such as excessive drowsiness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 12 Ways to Get a Good Night’s Sleep with a Cold, 9 Ways to Naturally Clear Up Your Congestion, What to Do If Your Baby Shows Signs of Pink Eye, What to Know If You’re Told Your Baby Needs Tongue-Tie Surgery. To relieve allergy symptoms when they happen, try taking one or more of these medications: Most respiratory infections clear up within a few days. Your doctor may recommend several treatments for your illness. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. CDC: “How Flu Spreads,” “Flu & You.”. For the medication to work, it’s best to start taking it within 48 hours of your symptoms starting. CDC is not responsible for Section 508 compliance (accessibility) on other federal or private website. Pink eye in babies is common but can sometimes be more serious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cannot attest to the accuracy of a non-federal website. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts. Also, antiviral drugs can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. When they make their way into your nose, eyes, or mouth, cold viruses cause symptoms such as: Treat your cold by taking it easy. How Long is the Flu Contagious? Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI, 5-7 days after you get sick with symptoms, wash your hands often with warm water and soap, warn others that you’ve been sick so they can remember to wash their hands, too, sneeze or cough into your elbow, not your hands, women who are pregnant or less than two weeks postpartum, people with weakened immune systems from other medical conditions. Saving Lives, Protecting People, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), Reconstruction of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic Virus, 2019-2020 Preliminary In-Season Burden Estimate, Who is at High Risk for Flu Complications, Who Should & Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated, Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV)/Nasal Spray Vaccine, Selecting Viruses for the Seasonal Influenza Vaccine, Flu Vaccine and People with Egg Allergies, Frequently Asked Questions on Vaccine Supply, Historical Reference of Vaccine Doses Distributed, Hospitalized Adult Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Network (HAIVEN), How Vaccine Effectiveness and Efficacy are Measured, What People with a Staph Infection Should Know about Flu, Resources for Hosting a Vaccination Clinic, Overview of Influenza Surveillance in the United States, Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Network (FluSurv-NET), Weekly U.S. The virus can be spread until symptoms disappear. When the number on thermometer starts creeping higher and higher, it's normal to wonder when a fever is too high for a child. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Your head’s stuffed up, your throat’s sore, and your body aches like you were run over by a truck. If you have a mild tickle in your throat or a stuffy nose, you should be able to go to work. You may be able to pass on flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. KidsHealth: “Influenza (Flu).”, Medscape: “Influenza Practice Essentials.”, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “Interim Guidance on Environmental Management of Pandemic Influenza Virus.”, UK National Health Service NHS Choices: “Flu.”. To relieve your symptoms faster, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab), zanamivir (Relenza), or baloxavir (Xofluza). How Long Does Coronavirus Live On Surfaces? When you’re no longer contagious: Flu: 1 day before symptoms start: 5-7 days after you get sick with symptoms: People with flu can spread it to others up to about 6 feet away. Even with mild illnesses, you can spread germs, too. Decongestant nasal sprays relieve congestion. Each time you sneeze or cough due to a respiratory infection, you release germ-filled droplets into the air. Sick people sneeze or cough out beads of moisture that contain the flu virus. Symptoms can begin about 2 days (but can range from 1 to 4 days)  after the virus enters the body. That means without the help of medicines. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.


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