How Long Does the Flu Last?

sickOne day you’re perfectly fine…  You go about your daily routine with no indication that you’re coming down with something.  Next thing you know, your nose feels stuffy, you can’t stop coughing, and you can’t seem to get yourself out of bed.  Could you possibly have the flu?

Symptoms of the Flu

Symptoms of the flu can often be confused with a regular cold.  People with either illness often experience:

  • A runny of stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Body aches
  • General fatigue

What makes the flu and a regular cold different is that the symptoms of the flu are more severe than a cold, and the flu can cause further health complications.  A regular cold rarely causes other health conditions.  But the flu can lead to other health conditions such as sinus infections, ear infections, and pneumonia.

To determine whether you’re experiencing symptoms of a cold or the flu, you need to visit a medical professional who can evaluate and treat your symptoms.

Now you may be wondering, “How long will my symptoms last for?”

Flu symptoms usually start within one to four days after an infection, and unlike a cold, the effects of the flu can come on very suddenly.

As the illnesses progresses, some symptoms you may experience include:

  • Warm, flushed skin
  • Watery or bloodshot eyes
  • Severe cough that produces phlegm
  • Nasal congestion

Symptoms of the flu typically last for a week, and it may take a few days to feel back to your normal self.

Now you may be wondering, “What should I do if I have the flu?”

It may be tempted to fight through the illness, but it’s always best to stay home from school or work until your symptoms have subsided and your fever has gone down for at least 24 hours.  Allowing your body to rest is the best thing you can do, but some other ways you can alleviate your symptoms include:

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Taking over-the-counter decongestants and cough medicine
  • Run a humidifier to ease congestion and coughs
  • Try sucking on lozenges to moisten a scratchy throat
  • Use saline nose drops or sprays for mucus relief

If your symptoms have been bothersome, be sure to visit an urgent care center like AFC Urgent Care Fairfield to have your symptoms evaluated.  We’re open seven days a week with convenient night and weekend hours to accommodate your bus schedule.  We’ll you in and out, so you can feel better, sooner.



3700 Cahaba Beach Road Birmingham, AL 35242

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Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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