How Long Are You Contagious with the Flu?

By Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Table of Contents


A common cold is a group of infections that cause a runny nose and sore throat. It’s caused by viruses that spread through droplets in the air, so you can get it by breathing in someone else’s sneeze or cough.

Viral common colds are caused by rhinoviruses (the most common cause of the common cold) and coronaviruses. You can also get one of these three types of viruses without getting sick at all! This is known as “shedding.”

The common cold is a viral infection that causes symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing, and a runny or stuffy nose.

Viral Flu-Influenza

The virus spreads through droplets in the air or by direct contact with people who are infected. Common colds are caused by several different viruses, but there are no vaccines for them yet.

The most common strains of the virus cause a sore throat and nasal congestion (a runny nose).

Other types may also cause fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and hunger pains. Symptoms usually begin within two to seven days of exposure to the virus.

If you’re sick with a common cold, stay home from work or school until you feel better.

If you must go out in public while sick, try to do so early in the day when others aren’t as contagious so that you don’t spread germs to others around you!

Symptoms of the Influenza Virus

  • High Fever over 100.4° F
  • Severe headache
  • Body pain or muscle aches
  • Fatigue and Weakness
  • Cough with phlegm
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny Nose
  • Dry Cough
  • Stuffy Nose

Viral Flu Causes

Viral flu is a highly contagious virus that can be extremely dangerous. When people catch this virus, it can cause a number of different symptoms.

There are two strong strains that spread during flu season.

  • Influenza type A
  • Influenza type B

Some of these symptoms can be serious, such as pneumonia. Fortunately, there are ways to fight off this virus.

The flu is a virus that attacks your respiratory system, including your nose, throat, and lungs.

The flu is not the same as the common cold though symptoms are similar.

These viruses spread in respiratory secretions, such as saliva, mucus, or nasal fluids, when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or from contact with surfaces or objects contaminated with these secretions.

The flu is most commonly spread during the fall and winter months. But the viral flu can occur at any time of the year.

People with the flu can spread it to others who are within 3 feet’s distance.

The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever or feeling feverish; cough; sore throat; runny or stuffy nose; muscle or body aches; headaches; and fatigue (tiredness).

Treatment of Viral Flu

Viral influenza is a serious problem, and every person should be aware of the dangers it poses. There are many ways to prevent this illness from taking hold, such as getting vaccinated or washing your hands often.

There are many different treatment options available for those who are suffering from the viral flu.

Antibiotics are not effective against the virus, but there are antiviral medications that can be used to treat the symptoms.

Treatment for viral flu generally includes rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications to relieve symptoms.

If you have a severe case of the flu, you may need to be hospitalized and receive antiviral (Ostelmivir) medication. There is no specific cure for the flu, but early treatment can help you feel better and prevent complications.

Complications of pneumonia can be severe.  There is no specific cure for viral flu, but early treatment can help to lessen the severity of the symptoms.

When is the Flu More Contagious?

The flu is most contagious from the day before symptoms start until about 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children can spread the flu for even longer than adults.

People with the flu are most contagious when they have the most symptoms.

It is important to stay home from work, school, or other gatherings if you are sick so that you do not spread the virus to others.

The flu is most contagious when people are the sickest and for the first three to four days after they get sick.

Most healthy adults can infect other people beginning one day before they have symptoms and up to five to seven days after they get sick.

Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Children are the common source of transferring the illness.

Preventing Flu

The flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu.

The best time to get the flu vaccine is in the fall before the flu season starts. The flu vaccine can help you stay healthy and prevent you from getting the flu.

It is important to stay home from work, school, or other gatherings if you are sick so that you do not spread the virus to others. It is better to avoid close contact with people who are ill with the flu.

If you are sick, you should wear a face mask to protect other people from getting sick. You should also wash your hands often, and if you are sick, you should stay away from other people.

The virus that causes viral flu is most contagious when people are the sickest. This means that you are most likely to spread the disease to others when you have the most symptoms.

The virus can also be spread when you are feeling better and no longer have symptoms.

It is important to stay away from other people if you are sick so that you do not spread the virus.

To prevent the spread of the flu, avoid person-to-person contact, avoid touching surfaces, wear masks, and practice proper hand hygiene.

When to Return to Work or School Following the Viral Flu?

If you are sick with the flu, you should not return to work or school until you have fully recovered.

If you have the flu, your body is not able to fight off other illnesses, and you can easily become sick again.

You may also be more susceptible to other infections, and you may even spread the virus to other people. You should, stay home and rest if you have the flu.

Anyone can get the viral flu, but people who are at high risk are especially susceptible. The best way to prevent the virus is to Submit flu vaccine each year.

So, after fully recovering, spend at least 24 hours at home before returning to work.

When to See the Doctor

There is no specific cure for the viral flu, but there are treatments that can help make you more comfortable. These treatments can help relieve symptoms and make you feel better.

It is important to see a doctor if you think you have the viral flu so that you can get the proper treatment. If you are pregnant, over 65 years old, or have a weakened immune system, you should see a doctor right away.

  • Other than that, if your symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks
  • Neck stiffness, headache
  • High Fever
  • Severe vomiting
  • Mental confusion
  • Blue-colored skin

TeleHealthDoc articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Dr. Pallavi Sharma

Dr. Pallavi Sharma is one of Melbourne’s best, well respected cosmetic doctors and aims to provide longstanding anti-aging benefits for her clients. With over 11 years experience in Performing cosmetic procedures, Dr. Sharma has lectured medical professionals regarding cosmetic treatments and is heavily involved in providing up to date cosmetic treatments to her clients and friends.
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