The 4 Stages Of Having Flu – Explained

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May 15, 2024

The flu is quite common and leaves you achy, feverish, and miserable for days. But have you ever wondered if it’s a one-day thing or if there are stages of the flu that you must undergo before it all gets better? Let’s find out.

Common Symptoms Of Flu

The common symptoms include:

  • Fever spikes
  • Dry cough
  • Frequent headaches
  • Feeling of lethargy
  • Chills and shudders down the body
  • Aching muscles
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Loss of appetite

What Are The Stages Of Flu?

The stages of the flu are divided into 4:

Exposure To The Bacteria and Incubation Period

Exposure to influenza virus is usually due to breathing in the droplets of an infected person’s cough or sneeze or by touching a contaminated surface. At this stage, you are fine and unaware that you are about to get sick. The virus then enters your body and starts replicating, initiating the incubation period.

Onset and Worsening of Symptoms (Days 1-3)

The incubation period typically lasts 1 to 4 days, and after that, you can expect the first symptoms of the flu to start appearing. Expect the signs like:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Sore throat, cough, runny/stuffy nose.

As your immune system starts responding to the virus, it sends inflammation throughout the body, worsening these uncomfortable symptoms. This is the stage where you will start to feel quite ill.

Turning Point (Days 4-6)

Around days between 4 and 6, your immune system starts gaining control over the virus, marking a turning point in the progression of the flu. The fever breaks along with body aches. Any congestion or nasal stuffiness starts loosening up during this stage of the flu, too.

Recovery (Days 7-8)

By days 7-8, you will feel good enough to go out into public again; however, you must exercise caution and still take precautions to avoid spreading the virus to others.

How To Know If Your Flu Is Getting Better?

Battling the flu is a miserable feeling, but how do you know when you are getting better? Look for these signs of improvement:

  • Reduced Fever and Chills: As your body gets rid of the virus, fever spikes, and chills that make you shudder gradually lessen. This signifies a mature and stronger immune response.
  • Easing Respiratory Symptoms: Now is the time when that persistent cough and stuffy nose becomes less bothersome as your respiratory system recovers.
  • No Sign of Body Aches: The flu comes with episodes of signature body aches, joint pain, and headaches that go down as inflammation subsides.
  • Better Energy Levels: Remember that feeling of being wiped out? Well, it is no longer there, and fatigue decreases with energy levels rising.

Connect with Your Primary Care Doctor

Closing Note

Always remember that recovery takes time, and the flu will pass all the stages before getting better. While the worst symptoms peak within 2-3 days, the flu itself lasts 7-10 days. During this time, give yourself time to rest and fully recover.

Still, if you are confused or want to learn more about this, contact our expert, Dr. Rajesh Maheshwari, MD, at Lathrop Urgent Care Clinic. Our competent team is waiting to serve you. Call (209)-983-9000 to connect with us.

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Dr. Rajesh is very Excellent and great humanitarian. I have not yet met any other Doctor like him who takes so much personal care of the patients. He is always go through the patient chart very carefully and listen his patient very well. I really appreciate his help and recommend Dr Rajesh.

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~ Ramandeep Kaur

Dr. Rajesh is very Excellent and great humanitarian. I have not yet met any other Doctor like him who takes so much personal care of the patients. He is always go through the patient chart very carefully and listen his patient very well. I really appreciate his help and recommend Dr Rajesh.

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~ Ramandeep Kaur

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