You did everything you possibly could to try and avoid getting the flu all year and here it is summer and you feel like you have a case of the summer flu, is that possible? Yes, and it was able to find its way to you. Now, you’re stuck wondering, “how long do I have to put up with this running nose and aches before it leaves?” We’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives and let’s be honest; it is no fun! So the question remains, how long does the flu last?
Typically, in the United States flu season occurs in the fall and winter- the peak of flu season being November through March, but it doesn’t mean the flu virus stops spreading. Summer flu symptoms might start right away after infection, and other times it takes 1-4 days for the symptoms to begin. A few symptoms include:
- Body aches
- Exhaustion & fatigue
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
The summer flu tends to stick around for one to two weeks and severe symptoms last for about one to three days, but with proper care, it may leave sooner. You might experience nasal congestion, bloodshot or watery eyes and sometimes even flushed skin. According to the CDC over 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year because of the flu. 20-30% of people are carrying the influenza virus have no symptoms. You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Blue or purple discoloration of the lips
- High fever (above 102.2 degrees)
- Pressure or pain in the chest or abdomen
- Severe vomiting
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sudden dizziness
Even after the flu passes sometimes you might have symptoms that persist for a few weeks. These complications include low appetite, fatigue, dry cough, weakness, and fatigue. Try to take things slow to rebuild your immune system and to get back to everyday activities.
Remember, the flu in summer or winter is extremely contagious, so you want to take steps to keep everyone around you from getting it; especially young children. Staying at home until the flu has had a chance to pass will help with not passing the flu on. This will also give you time to recover and avoid getting another virus. Take this time to drinks lots of fluids, drink soup and treat yourself with some ice cream.
It’ll pass soon! Just hang in there.