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What to Expect If You Get Sick with the Flu

What to Expect If You Get Sick with the Flu

Not sure what to expect if you get the flu? We have all the information you need.
A woman puts a hand to her forehead

Symptoms of the flu

Symptoms of the flu are quite similar to the common cold, just more severe. Listed below are some of the symptoms you may experience with the flu (though not every person will experience all of these):

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue 
  • Headaches

Children and some adults may also experience vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear one to four days after exposure to the virus and last five to seven days. 

How to keep those around you safe

When you are sick with the flu, it's very easy for you to infect those around you. Here are some things you should do to prevent spreading your sickness.

  1. Wear a mask.
  2. Stay home.
  3. Limit the number of guests you have.
  4. Wash your clothing or materials you use (towels, sheets, etc.). 
  5. Wipe down surfaces you touch. 
  6. Disinfect items like your phone, remotes, controllers, watches, etc., using the PhoneSoap. 

For more details on how to keep those around you safe, check out our blog that gives more in-depth instructions for cleaning when sick

Severity levels of the flu

Since there are many different strains of the flu, the severity of each flu season changes. The CDC closely monitors the severity of the flu. These are the metrics they use to calculate the severity:

  • Percentage of visits for the flu to outpatient clinics 
  • Rates of flu-related hospitalizations
  • Percentage of deaths caused by flu or pneumonia that season

The CDC uses these calculations "to guide public health actions, such as targeting prevention and treatment messages to appropriate audiences and make recommendations designed to prevent flu illnesses and death." 

A little girl gets her temperature checked

Things to have on hand to prepare for the flu 

  • Tissues
  • Thermometer (to check for a fever)
  • Broths, soups, saltine crackers (any food that is easy on your stomach)
  • Over-the-counter pain medications (ibuprofen, cough syrup, sore throat sprays, decongestants, etc.)
  • Hygiene supplies like toilet paper, toothpaste, hand soap, etc.
  • Face masks
  • Fluids for hydration (Gatorade is a great option) 

What makes you feel better when sick with the flu 

  • Get a lot of rest and take it easy.
  • Drink lots of water and other fluids (like Gatorade).
  • Use a humidifier or go sit in a steamy bathroom. 
  • Stay home. 
  • Use an extra pillow under your head when sleeping to relieve a stuffy nose or congestion. 
  • Take over-the-counter medicines. 
  • Eat fruits and vegetables. 
  • Watch a good movie or binge that Netflix show you've heard tons about. 
  • Stay positive. 

We hope these tips help ease any fears you have regarding the flu and give you ample preparation in case you get sick. And if you do get sick, we wish you a speedy and safe recovery.

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