Fever can be an ally or an enemy, it all depends on your point of view. On the one hand, it makes us feel really bad, but on the other it warns us that things are not right and, above all, what was previously known very well has been shown: it improves the functioning of the immune system in case of infections , so sometimes (not in small children or the elderly) it is convenient to let it work.
Continue reading this FastlyHealarticle if you want to know how long a fever lasts in a flu , what other symptoms may appear, what to do in this type of infection and when to consult your doctor.
What is the flu
We are used to calling any viral infection that presents as a cold, the flu , but the truth is that the flu is caused by the influenza A and influenza B viruses .
There are several types, some are transmitted only between people, others only between animals and, finally, those that pass from animals to people. Currently, there are 3 types of influenza circulating and they cause millions of cases of influenza a year. The vast majority can improve with treatment at home, but people with low defenses can suffer complications. Those that tend to suffer more serious cases are:
- Over 65 years old.
- Children under 2 years of age.
- People with other underlying diseases.
The mortality of this virus is quite high for those people with low defenses, in addition, it produces a very important economic repercussion due to the sick people and the health resources that must be used.
How long can a fever last in a flu?
A picture of the flu usually presents itself in the following way (and I say usually, because the way it affects one or another person can also vary):
- The transmission of the influenza virus is usually by direct contact, from person to person, by droplets of the saliva and respiratory secretions of an infected person.
- After the person is infected, the incubation period is crossed , it usually goes from 24 hours to 4 or 5 days. During that time, there are no symptoms and it will last more or less according to the amount of virus it has received and the state of its defenses.
- After that time, nonspecific symptoms begin such as: malaise, dry cough, headache, nasal congestion, sore throat.
- Fever appears . It is usually high (over 38 ° C) for 2 or 3 days. Then, it will go down little by little until the temperature normalizes on the 5th and 6th day . This is so in people who do not have defense problems.
It is important to say that older adults may have a fever when the disease is already quite advanced, so in that case it is not advisable to wait. If an older person has decay, does not eat or is disoriented, it is important to go to a health center, as well as if it starts with a high temperature. In young children, it is not advisable to wait if they have a high fever, loss of appetite, or severe decay.
- As the fever improves, the respiratory symptoms will worsen , which is normal, it does not mean that the flu is getting complicated, it is the evolution that is expected. The cough will no longer be dry, but you may have discharge.
- After a week or two you will start to get better.
So, this is what to expect from a flu in a person without other pathologies, but those who are more susceptible may suffer more severe or prolonged symptoms, even some previously “healthy” people may suffer from it. The possibility of complications includes:
- Primary viral pneumonia : in which the same virus causes a more severe respiratory condition that can even lead to death. It will present with a very high fever (over 39 ° C), palpitations, shortness of breath, and significant general malaise.
- Viral and bacterial pneumonia : a bacterium is added to the viral infection, the picture is quite similar to primary viral pneumonia.
- Bacterial pneumonia : it usually begins as a common flu, severe respiratory symptoms appear such as bloody or purulent discharge, chills, chest pain, among others.
In all these possibilities, the person will have a high fever after having overcome the initial fever , so if the temperature rises again, a professional should be consulted quickly.
What to do to cure the flu
The vast majority of people can get over the flu with home care alone. The following cares are important if you want to recover faster:
- Keep rest : the body will recover faster if you lie down and rest. Sleep what the body asks of you, it is the way to conserve energy to face this type of infection.
- Drink plenty of water : other liquids do not hydrate in the same way. You can drink fruit juices or some infusion that helps you with the symptoms such as ginger, lemon or honey, but avoid consuming coffee, black tea and much less alcohol or drinks with sugar, since they will hinder the work that your body is doing.
- Hold the fever a little : we are used to the fact that we hardly feel discomfort, we take anti-inflammatories or antipyretics, but the role of fever to fight infections has been recognized again: fever helps the immune system work better, it will help you recover more soon, as much as the body hurts and is really uncomfortable. In the elderly and young children, it is better to lower the temperature and go to a medical check-up.
- Eat light food : if your body asks for it, you can eat fresh and light food. Fruits are your best allies, since in addition to providing liquid, vitamins and minerals, they help your body to cleanse itself and work in the best way. The belief that a chicken soup will really help you get better is not true, although it can be delicious, what you need is not to waste your energy digesting.
- Make steam or infusion of eucalyptus : it will help your lungs to clean more easily.
If you are one of the people who is most at risk, it is convenient that you get vaccinated every year, since it is the only way that currently exists to defend yourself against this virus. That and improving your lifestyle, which will keep your defenses high.
In the following article, you can see more tricks to cure the flu .
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to How long does a fever last in a flu , we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.