How Long Should The Flu Last?
Influenza, also known as the common flu, generally lasts between 2-7 days. Gastroenteritis, or the average stomach flu, generally lasts 1-10 days.
You’ve been sick with the flu for an entire week and you’re starting to wonder… should I be feeling better already? If you do not get better within a normal time frame this could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. So how do you know when you’ve been sick for too long?
How Long Does The Average Flu Last?
Influenza generally starts off with nausea, fever or chills and wraps up with a headache, dry cough, runny nose, muscle aches, and weakness. The flu is considered a mild illness, but it can still feel quite terrible when you actually have it. A fever is a common symptom of the flu, but you don’t have to develop a fever to have the flu. The most common symptoms include a cough and sore throat, as well as stuffy or runny nose.
The average flu lasts between one and two weeks, with the most severe symptoms generally waning off after about 2-3 days. Feeling weak and suffering from a dry cough may linger 3-7 days after major symptoms decrease. If the most severe symptoms of the flu continue to persist after a few days, it’s time to see a doctor to figure out why you are not getting better.
The thing that sucks most about getting the flu is that you are sick long after the actual illness goes away. That lingering cough, sniffle or hoarse voice can go on for weeks on end. As long as you feel better and are able to return to your normal activities, these lingering side effects are perfectly normal. It becomes worrisome when the most severe symptoms of the flu persist without anyone signs of getting better.
When To Visit Urgent Care For Flu Symptoms?
If influenza does not clear up in a timely manner you are at risk for developing more serious infections such as pneumonia, sinus infection, and bronchitis. In order to prevent the flu from worsening into these conditions it’s important to be pro active and seek medical attention before symptoms have a chance to worsen.
You should visit Urgent Medical Center if:
-You are 65 years or older
-Have underlying medical conditions, or a weakened immune system for any reason.
-Have a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, asthma, blood disease, diabetes, and so forth.
-Serious flu symptoms persist longer than a few days
How Long Does The Average Stomach Flu Last?
The stomach flu is not the same thing as influenza, despite the fact they both share the name ‘flu.’ Viral gastroenteritis, also known as the stomach flu, impacts the stomach causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. A headache and sore muscles may also accompany the stomach flu.
Viral stomach flus are often confused for bacterial flus (ex: Salmonella), as they present very similar symptoms. Visiting Urgent Medical Center will help determine if you are suffering from a viral or bacterial issue.
The average stomach flu tends to range anywhere between 1 to 10 days, with the worst symptoms lasting 1 to 3 days. Even after you start to feel better, you may still experience irregularity in bowel movements for as long as 2 weeks.
If you experience symptoms for only one day you are more than likely suffering from food poisoning, which may be caused by bacterial or viral.
One of the biggest concerns associated with the stomach flu is dehydration. The earliest warning signs of dehydration are extreme thirst and dark colored urine. When you are constantly experiencing vomiting and/or diarrhea you lose a lot of fluids. If you are not consistently drinking water to make up for lost fluids your body becomes dehydrated. If you begin to have symptoms of severe dehydration you need to go to the emergency room and get hooked up to an IV. Save yourself the hassle by keeping close tabs on how much water you are consuming.
When Should You Go To Urgent Care For Gastroenteritis?
Visit Urgent Medical Center if…
- You cannot keep liquids down for an entire 24 hours.
- You are throwing up blood
- You have blood in your bowel movements
- You have been consistently throwing up for two or more days
- You are experiencing minor symptoms of dehydration, for severe dehydration go to the Emergency Room.
- Your fever reaches 104°F or higher