Fight the Flu: 9 Different Stages of Flu Recovery
The flu causes widespread illness every year. The risk of complications pose serious risks which is why immunization is recommended for all individuals. If you contract the flu, you shouldn’t be around others. If you are scheduled to work, stay home.
The first step to fight the flu is acknowledging you have it. Common flu symptoms include high fever, a dry cough, body aches, chills, aching behind the eyes, loss of appetite, a sore throat, and the feeling of being extremely weak or tired. A flu is only confirmed with a nose or throat swab.
If you have fallen victim to this sickness, here are the nine stages of flu recovery that you can expect:
Stage #1: Flu symptoms come and go
In the first stage of flu recovery, you could exhibit some early flu symptoms on and off again. Symptoms of the flu tend to hit quickly and can last for several weeks particularly in high-risk individuals. For most people, they’re going to be saddled with a recovery for approximately two weeks.
The first few days are a sudden appearance of symptoms, usually in the form of headaches, fever, weakness, a dry cough, and a sore throat.
Stage #2: Fever starts to subside
Flu recovery in a healthy individual starts relatively fast after symptoms first begin to present. Sometime around the fourth day of your journey with the flu, your fever and body aches start subsiding. This is a promising start and one of the natural stages of flu recovery.
Unfortunately, some symptoms worsen – such as a sore throat, coughing, and mild chest discomfort. As your body’s fighting off the flu, you may also feel more tired than normal. It isn’t a bad thing in this period to get as much rest as possible to ensure your immune system can do its’ thing.
Stage #3: Flu symptoms decrease
After you’ve gone through your first week with the flu, your second week will see symptoms decrease as the next stage of your flu recovery. This will happen gradually, with the most intense dissipating first. Unfortunately, a flu cough or the tiredness that comes with the flu can last an additional week or sometimes longer.
Stage #4: Taking flu medications
Antibiotics don’t work for the flu because it’s a viral infection. Antibiotics, in fact, shouldn’t be taken. Antiviral medications can be taken within the first two days of the illness. This will help decrease recovery time.
While recovering from the flu, decongestions and pain relievers can minimize the impact of some of the symptoms. There are also some over-the-counter medications one can take. Unfortunately, there aren’t any specific flu medications. You need to let your immune system take the fight and win.
Stage #5: Resting from the flu
If you want to be back to your best self within a couple weeks, you’ve got to do three things to expedite your flu recovery. Monitor symptoms. Ensure a healthy fluid intake. Try to rest as much as you can.
Don’t be doing workouts or any strenuous activity that could jeopardize your health. Take the time to relax, lie down, and recover. This is the quickest way to get you back on your feet.
Stage #6: Staying home
In case it already hasn’t been emphasized enough, someone with the flu should stay home. Regardless of what you have planned, avoid contact with others as long as you flu is in the contagious stage. This is usually 3-5 days from when symptoms first start to appear.
In young children, this can last as long as 5-7 days. Be extra cautious. During this stage of flu recovery, take the time off, have your rest and recover.
Stage #7: Flu vaccinations
At-risk groups are recommended to get flu vaccinations. These annual immunization shots will help your system rebound if it does indeed come into contact with the flu. It is important to note the vaccine isn’t 100 percent effective however it gives a level of protection that’s high and which you won’t find through other means.
Stage #8: Flu complications
The best thing that can happen your flu recovery is that it passes away after two weeks or so. Unfortunately, in some cases, severe complications like pneumonia and bronchitis can arise. Hospitalizations are often needed in these cases.
If you feel symptoms worsening beyond the normal, get to a hospital and alert them that you have the flu. The flu can complicate existing medical conditions you may be struggling with. It can also result in death. Take your symptoms seriously.
There are several demographics that are more at-risk for serious complications with the flu. Pregnant women, seniors over the age 65, Aboriginal people, children younger than age 5, and people with chronic medical conditions are some of these demographics. If you contract the flu and you’re in one of these categories, monitor your health very closely.
Stage #9: Flu hospitalization
Hospitalization is one stage of flu recovery that you’ll hopefully avoid. If, in your flu recovery, you find you aren’t recuperating on the timeline given, it might be time to contact your physician. If you are concerned, book an appointment with your family doctor.
If you experience any difficulty breathing, chest pain, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe vomiting, or have a fever and a rash, these are events where you want to seek a hospital immediately.