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Nasty U.S. flu season continues to intensify!

The percentage of U.S. outpatient visits for influenza like illness reached the third highest level in the past 15 years. 




 What Is the Incubation Period for Flu? The incubation period is the time between exposure to the virus and symptoms of illness. The incubation period for the flu is from two to four days.

What Is the Contagious Period for Flu in Adults? A person with flu is contagious for up to seven days after the onset of the illness, although the virus can be detected in the secretions up to 24 hours before the onset of symptoms. Thus, an individual can transmit the virus one day before symptoms begin.

In young children, the virus can still be spread in body secretions into the second week of illness.


To avoid spreading the illness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people stay home until 24 hours after the fever is gone without using fever reducers, except to obtain necessities or to seek medical care.


Flu symptoms and signs usually come on suddenly.


Fever (usually high)

Severe aches and pains in the joints and muscles (especially in the back) and around the eyes

Generalized weakness

Ill appearance with warm, flushed skin and red, watery eyes


Dry cough

Sore throat and watery discharge from the nose or nasal congestion

Vomiting or diarrhea is sometimes seen, particularly in children


Differentiating a cold from the flu by symptoms alone can sometimes be difficult or impossible, but in general, people with the flu get sick more suddenly, look much sicker, and feel much weaker than if the ailment were a common cold. Higher fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more often symptoms of the flu, whereas runny or stuffy nose are more often associated with common colds.


What Is the Duration of Flu in Adults?


The illness from uncomplicated flu lasts from three to seven days in most adults. Cough and malaise (feeling tired or weak) can last up to two weeks following illness. Complications such as pneumonia can occur in some cases, which causes a more prolonged illness.