First Signs of Flu: Stages of the Flu From Infection to Recovery

first signs of flu

Are you getting a tickling feeling in your throat? Do you think that your body is aching a little? Well, then these symptoms can be alarming! Both these symptoms along, with a slight temperature, all can be the first signs of flu.

Every year around 20% of the people in the United States get affected by the flu-causing virus. So, you must detect the first signs of flu and begin its treatment.

The people most prone to the flu are oldies, children, pregnant ladies, and people who have pre-existing medical conditions or a weak immune system. So, today we will help you with all the first signs of flu and more!

How to Recognize the first signs of the flu?

It is very usual to take the first signs of flu to be cold. You will find that most of the symptoms of flu to be similar to a common cold. But the main difference between the two is that if the flu does not get immediate treatment, it may turn severe, leading to chronic health illnesses or even fatal at times.

So, we have got you a list that tells you what the first signs of flu are:

  • Fever that goes up more than 100-degree Fahrenheit
  • Lethargy or Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Cough dry or with mucus
  • Tickling feeling in the throat
  • Sudden chills
  • Stuffy or Runny nose
  • Body or muscle aches

It’s always best you keep fever as the most essential and first signs of flu. However, it would be best if you keep in mind the exceptions. In a few cases, people with the flu may not get a fever at all.

What to do after the first signs of flu?

Once you notice the flu symptoms in adults or children, you need to maintain specific precautionary measures. Are you wondering what they are?

Well, here we have a list that will tell what you need to do as soon as you see the first signs of flu:

Wash hands repeatedly

Once you see the flu symptoms in adults or children, start washing your hands frequently. If you wash your hands often, you will see that the virus will not spread to places and further to other people in your house or workplace. Always aim to wash your hands for around twenty seconds with water and soap. Remember to scrub your hand well too!

Cover your sneeze and cough

It is always best to cover your mouth with your hands and elbow when you cough or sneeze. Since the flu is highly infectious, you can spread it to the people around you through sneezing and coughing droplets. So, always cover your face using your arms when you are about to sneeze or cough.

Start eating healthy

The moment you see the first signs of flu, you must concentrate on your diet. If you consume healthy foods, then you can boost up your immune system. Indeed, you might find it tough to eat or might lose out on your appetite, but you have to give yourself that push. Fill your diet with leafy greens, fruits, and other veggies to supply yourself with all the nutrients. These nutrients will provide you with strength and help you fight off your illness easily.

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Keep yourself hydrated

Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the key ways to minimize the aggravation of the flu. You can fight off the symptoms of flu by strategically including beverages and warm fluids in your diet. Try having some hot soup, herbal teas, and lots of water to keep yourself away from dehydration. Also, a few low-sugar content electrolyte drinks can help you immensely.

Buy some essentials

You can purchase all the essentials that you can keep handy. Some of the essential items you need to buy are over-the-counter relievers of a plan, cough suppressants, tissues, lozenges, decongestants, essential oils, herbal tea, veg or chicken broth, small energy bars, non-citrus fruits, and lots of vegetables. Since we’re all busy in the West, keep yourself well-equipped is crucial. Once you see the first signs of flu, stack all the essentials you need. You can also try doing an online shopping haul to keep people away from coming in any proximity to you.

 Keep your workplace aware

Indeed, with the outbreak of COVID-19, we are all having to stay at home most of the time. But if you have to visit your office, inform your boss and co-workers about the symptoms of flu. It would be much more appreciable that you cure yourself completely and meet everyone.

Sleep and Take Rest

One of the most important things you need to do when you experience flu symptoms is sleep. The more you provide yourself with rest and let yourself sleep, the faster you will heal.

What to avoid after the first signs of flu?

Now that you know what the symptoms of flu are and what is best to do when you experience the first signs. It would be best to avoid a few things when you see the flu symptoms in adults and children.

Here are the following:

Avoid school or work

Once you are sure of the flu symptoms, it would be best you keep yourself away from school and work. Since the flu symptoms are highly infectious, you might infect the people who are around you. The flu symptoms in adults and children start showing up after a day or two. So, you should keep yourself away from work a week or two of being infected.

Avoid hugging and hand-shake

You surely wouldn’t want to be responsible for spreading out the virus and infecting other people. So, avoid shaking hands and hugging to not let the virus spread out to other people. You must also avoid sharing drinks and foods with other people.

Don’t exert yourself

Once you’re sure of all your flu symptoms, give yourself as much rest as possible. If you do not provide yourself with enough sleep, your symptoms may worsen, further lengthening your recovery.

Keep away from sugary and processed foods

Keeping yourself away from processed and sugary foods is always the best. That’s because they contain harmful ingredients that cause several illnesses. More so, when you have the flu, you would want to provide yourself with helpful nutrients rather than junk.

Do not skip meals

It is indeed all right to eat less when you have the flu. But make sure you provide yourself with the right foods and at regular intervals. Your body surely needs enough energy and nutrients to help you fight off the flu-causing virus. Fill your diet with lots of yogurts, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, soups, broth, and oatmeal to supply yourself with many nutrients.

Avoid crowded places

You already know that the flu is highly infectious, so keeping yourself away from crowds is best to avoid the spread of it.

Do not consume herbal medications

Always consume the medicines that are approved by the FDA. You would surely not want to have an unproven herbal medicine that can cause harm to your health. If you’re going to treat yourself with herbal medicines, buy them from a renowned chemist or ask your doctor’s advice for prescribed drugs.

Avoid smoking

Since the flu is a respiratory problem, smoking would further aggravate your symptoms and irritate your lungs.

avoid smoking

Stages of the Flu

It would be best you keep in mind that the flu can affect each person differently. Everyone gets the flu symptoms differently, and their duration of recovery varies too.

There are different stages of the flu, and it usually progresses day by day.

So, here we will tell you in detail how the flu progresses each day:

Flu Symptoms – Day 0

The flu symptoms appear after the virus affects your body. You can do your daily chores and meet anyone without even paying heed that the virus affected you already. It is also possible that you might come in contact with an infected person 24hrs after they are infected and yet not see any influenza symptoms.

The virus usually spread from the nasal, cough, and spit droplets. These droplets can fall on someone’s nose or mouth or get transmitted through a surface.

first signs of flu

Flu Symptoms – Day 2

After the mild symptoms you see on day one. The second can turn indeed bad. You might not want to leave your bed at all. Fever, cough, and congestion can be common symptoms you will experience with influenza. More so, you might even find your eyelids to hurt. This is the time you are incredibly infectious.

The CDC suggests that you keep yourself isolated at this point. If you need medical attention, only then step out of the house.

Flu Symptoms – Day 3

On day three, also you will experience terrible symptoms. You need to take enough rest and also supply yourself with plenty of fluids and hot beverages.

Your body aches, congestion, and sore throat all can get bad. Also, you might get an upset stomach. Usually, you will notice stomach issues in children, but oldies might get them as well. It would be best if you keep yourself away from others on day three too. Remember to wash your hands and disinfect the bathroom you’re using to avoid the spread to other family members.

Flu Symptoms – Day 4

If you address the first signs of flu and provide yourself with all the correct medications, day four might let you feel better. You will probably not have any high temperatures at the beginning of the day.

But your congestion will remain, and you might also experience your cough symptoms to worsen. That is because your congestion is loosening up that can aggravate your cough.

Even though you feel better, it is best to provide yourself with a lot of rest and all the foods we have made a list of above. However, as the day ends, you might feel the weakness again, and your temperature might rise too.

first signs of flu

Flu Symptoms – Day 5

When you’re on day five, you will not get a fever or feeling of weakness at the end of the day. Since your congestion will loosen up a lot, your coughing may increase.

You should still restrict yourself at home and sleep as much as you can. Drinking lots of fluids and consuming nutritious foods might help you a lot.

But you surely need to keep a close watch on yourself on day five. That’s because if your fever is not subsiding, then you may have a chance of a second infection. And if you leave this untreated, it might lead to other serious problems.

Flu Symptoms – Day 6

If your symptoms on day five do not aggravate, then on day six, you will feel much better. You might feel weak, but you will not have any signs of fever, and your body aches will subside.

You should still maintain all the precautionary measures like covering your face while coughing and sneezing on day six. Indeed, your flu is still contagious and can infect other family members.

Flu Symptoms – Day 7

You can get up on day seven and feel like hitting work back again. But it is safe to give yourself that day of rest too. You can try speaking to your doctor and updating him/her about your health condition.

After you get the flu, your body will be weak. So, consulting your doctor might help you getting some vitamins that will help you recover soon.

Flu symptoms – Day 8

By the time you reach day eight, you are indeed on the verge of getting fit. However, you must keep yourself away from the lost work time or socializing or even engage in household work.

You might require time to recover, but consuming the right foods and exercising will help you get back to normal. Don’t exert yourself too much and put a lot of stress. Only then you can recover quickly.

Final Thoughts

The flu indeed affects each person differently depending on their health conditions, age, and more. So, it is always best you address the first signs of flu as soon as you see them. If you neglect the flu symptoms, it may worsen, which can lead to other health complications.

Apart from providing yourself with the right medications, remember to make a significant change in your diet and lifestyle. All these changes will help you fight off the virus quickly, and you’ll be on your way to recovery.

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