If you have been in contact with someone with the flu, you may be concerned about getting it. You may also want to know how soon after exposure will you become sick, and how soon after infection will you be contagious.
Influenza incubation period
The typical influenza incubation period – the time from exposure to onset of symptoms – is between 24 hours and 4 days, with an average of 2 days.
This means that if you are exposed to the flu virus and become infected, you will start to experience flu symptoms, such as fever and body aches, anytime between 24 hours and 4 days after exposure.
When will you be contagious?
Another factor in how the flu spreads is when you might be contagious. Unlike many common diseases that are only contagious when you have symptoms, the flu can be contagious up to 24 hours before symptoms appear, so you are more likely to spread the virus unknowingly.
Add to that the number of people trying to overcome symptoms and exposing others to germs while sick, and it’s easy to see why the flu affects so many people each year.
Adults can spread the virus for 5 to 10 days after symptoms begin. However, viral transmission decreased significantly after three to five days.Adults are most at risk of getting the flu within 24 hours forward Symptoms begin after three to five days.
Children can spread the virus for longer—up to 10 days, sometimes longer. People with severe immune system problems can spread the flu for weeks or even months after getting the flu.
Flu symptoms do not usually appear gradually. More commonly, people describe the onset of the flu as being “hit by a truck.” You feel fine, and then suddenly, an hour later, you feel like you can barely move. The flu is definitely not just a bad cold – it’s something else entirely.
How does the flu spread?
In cold winters, the flu can spread quickly. We know it is highly contagious and can spread even before you develop symptoms.but you know what how Is it so easy to spread and spread from person to person?
Contrary to popular belief, this was not due to cold weather. Although cold, dry air may mean the virus is more likely to spread and infect people, it doesn’t actually cause disease. It’s also not really airborne, as many believe.
The flu is spread by droplets, which means that if you cough, sneeze, or pass any droplets from your respiratory system to anything,It can spread to other people. This can happen in two ways.
First, if you sneeze, cough or talk, tiny droplets are released into the air up to 6 feet away from you. Anyone around you can breathe in those droplets that contain the flu virus.
Another possibility is that those droplets you sneeze, cough or exhale land on an object and the next person who touches that object and then touches their eyes, mouth or nose could be infected. If the person’s immune system is unable to kill the virus, he or she will develop symptoms within one to four days of being infected. They are now also spreading the virus themselves, even before symptoms appear.
protect yourself and others
Most people know that they should stay home when they have an illness like the flu (though many don’t). But it’s hard to avoid spreading the virus if you don’t even know you have it.
This is one of the reasons why the flu vaccine is so important. If you get the flu shot, your body will have a chance to fight it off before it spreads to your body, and you’re less likely to pass it on to others or get sick yourself.
Know when to call in sick for work, wash your hands often, and make sure those you come in contact with do the same. Cover your cough and do everything possible to avoid contact with people at high risk for severe complications from the flu.
Preventing the spread of the flu virus depends on all of us. Even if you think it’s not serious for you if you get it, it could be something you passed on to someone.
Prevention of the flu after exposure
Although there are various products and treatments that claim to help prevent illness after you’ve been exposed to the flu, none have proven effective. The best option for preventing the flu is getting the flu vaccine every year. While it’s not 100% effective at preventing the flu, it gives you a better chance of avoiding the disease than anything else.
Quick Flu Vaccine Facts Everyone Should Know
If you have been in contact with someone with the flu, avoid close contact with that person and wash your hands frequently.
- Vitamin C: While vitamin C is widely available and has many benefits, there is no scientific evidence that it can help you avoid illnesses like the flu or cold.
- Humidifier: Evidence suggests that viruses such as colds and flu are more likely to spread in cold, dry air. This is one reason they are more common in winter. Using a humidifier at home during winter can help keep your nasal passages moist. While there’s no guarantee this will prevent you from getting sick, it won’t hurt (as long as you keep it properly cleaned).
- Antiviral medications: If you are at high risk for complications from the flu and you know you have been exposed to the flu, talk with your healthcare provider about taking antiviral medications. It can help prevent the flu in some people and reduce the severity of symptoms in those who are infected.
Of course, try to avoid getting the flu. Be sure to get the flu shot, wash your hands often, and avoid contact with someone with the flu. The flu is not something to be taken lightly, and if you do get sick, stay away from other people when you are sick.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How soon after exposure can you get the flu?The incubation period for influenza varies from one to four days. If you have been exposed to and get the flu, you will develop symptoms within four days.
- When is the flu contagious?The flu virus is contagious from about 24 hours before symptoms appear and lasts up to 10 days. The virus is most contagious before symptoms appear and in the first three to five days.Influenza usually circulates in the United States between October and April.
- Can you be around a flu patient without getting infected?Yes, being exposed to the flu does not mean you will get it. If you get the flu vaccine every year, your chances of getting the flu are greatly reduced. Good hand hygiene can help prevent catching the flu. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your mouth, nose or eyes.