Generally speaking, there will be little doubt that you have the flu as opposed to a bad cold. I have had the flu several times in my life and unlike a common cold, it hits you like a ton of bricks. There will be no mistaking it.
Many flu symptoms are similar to that of a cold, but MUCH MORE SEVERE.
One of the biggest telltale signs that you have the flu is not only the list of symptoms below, but this: The symptoms will come on quickly and in a big way…
When I’ve had the flu, from the time that I began to feel “off” until when I knew that something was really wrong, was just a matter of hours.
You won’t know when you’ve come in contact with the flu virus. It will enter your respiratory tract, bind to cells there, and will begin replicating itself. Over and over. One to four days after contact it will enter the bloodstream. Then you’ll know it!
One difference from the common cold is FEVER. The flu will spike a high fever. Flu fever temperatures may range from 100 to 103 degrees F.
The body aches will knock you off your feet. Everything will ‘hurt’. The aches and pains are typically worse in the back and legs.
You will become very weak. In fact you may not even feel like you can get up at all. It can get that bad… You may be stuck in your bed for days.
It may seem odd to be shivering while running a fever. Your body raises its internal thermostat (fever) to fight off the virus. In so doing, you feel colder because your body’s temperature ‘set point’ went up. The shivering is a reactionary effort to stay warm.
Other Flu Symptoms
Additional Flu symptoms will likely include headache, loss of appetite, dry cough, sore throat, and a runny/stuffy nose.
How Long Will The Flu Last?
The major symptoms of the flu will last 5 to 7 days.
I missed a whole week of work once during the 2009 flu pandemic. I felt pretty bad for almost a entire month afterwards! Just a little better every day. It was awful.
That said, the flu will keep you in bed for days or longer. Some strains apparently worse than others.
The biggest problem aside from your own miserable discomfort is that you’re so weak. You will not want to get up for anything.
You won’t be hungry. However it will be very very important to drink liquids. Dehydration can become a real issue.
A little preparedness will go a long way, so it’s a good idea to have some cans of soup in your inventory! And other things as listed in the following section:
Flu Remedies & Preparedness
Like I said, you won’t be hungry. That’s okay, your body can live without food for a long time. With that said, as you do begin to slowly recover it will be important to eat as soon as you can. This will quicken your energy recovery.
You may not be thirsty either. But it will be important to force yourself to drink liquids! Keep bottled water by the bedside. Consider the following (or similar) electrolyte,
Reduce the Fever
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Advil) or the generics thereof.
Aspirin is also effective for treating fever in adults. DO NOT give aspirin to a child unless your child’s doctor tells you to.
DayQuil | NyQuil
Sore throat, fever, congestion.
This stuff works for me! It will help you feel a little less miserable. The NyQuil definitely helps with sleeping too.
Time & Rest
Unfortunately it will just take time for your immune system to fight it off. Pretty much all you can do is moderate the symptoms as best you can.
Next time, work more at prevention and avoidance!
Worldwide, the flu results in 291,000 to 646,000 deaths annually, according to the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
I have thankfully not had the flu in many years! Why? That experience in 2009 was so bad, I never wanted to go through it again! It motivated me to be extra cautious and increase my situational awareness of others around me who may appear sick during flu season. Stay away!
It also helped that I moved to a rural region. Much less general exposure to people. Although no guarantee! People still get the flu where I live. I still need to take precautions.
You get the flu through your eyes, nose, or mouth.
You can get the flu standing within 6 feet of an infected person.
A cough, sneeze, or even talking will potentially expel the flu virus to a nearby bystander. Can you say, “at work”?
The flu is a risk wherever people are congregating. Work. Shopping. Places of worship. Etc.
Touching a infected surface.
Wash your hands a lot! And/or use this…