Is Flu Contagious?

Flu is extremely contagious. If you have the flu, you can infect others before you start to feel sick. After that, you remain contagious for another five days. The flu virus is in drops of mucus, saliva and snot. So you can spread the flu virus by talking, coughing or sneezing. You can also transmit the virus to others via your hands or objects (for example a doorknob).

Flu or cold?

Not sure whether you have a cold or the flu? The main difference between the flu and the common cold is that you have a fever with flu. You also often feel a lot worse with the flu than with a cold. Are you sniffling a lot, but you don’t have a fever? Then you probably have a cold and you don’t have the flu. 

When should you see a doctor?

Flu? Usually it is not necessary to consult your doctor. Please contact your doctor in the following cases:

  • If you have a fever of more than 40 degrees for more than three days.
  • If you get short of breath.
  • If you suffer from a lot of mucus when coughing.
  • If you get drowsy.
  • If you drink or urinate little.
  • If you have diabetes or heart, vascular, lung or kidney disease.
  • If you have low resistance due to an illness, medical treatment or use of certain medicines.
  • If you are sixty or older.
  • If you have had the flu and you get a fever again after a few days.
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How Long Does Flu Last?

That varies per person. In most cases, the flu lasts for a week. Fever usually clears up within three to five days. After that, it often takes a few weeks before you have fully recovered. Does the fever not pass in a few days? Then consult your doctor.

Can you get the flu multiple times in one winter season?

If you’ve had the flu in a particular winter season, you probably won’t get the flu in that same season or only in a mild form. In a new winter season you can get the flu again. Flu viruses are constantly changing. As a result, antibodies that you have built up during an influenza in an earlier season do not work as well against influenza viruses of the new season.

Can you exercise if you have the flu?

If you have the flu, you better stay in bed. Your body needs a lot of energy to get better. Do you have a fever? Then exercising is not only unwise, but also dangerous. Incidentally, that you could sweat out a flu by exercising a lot is utter nonsense. If you have had the flu and / or a fever, it is important to get well out and not to start exercising again too soon. After a flu, your resistance is considerably affected. Give yourself enough time to get sick to avoid being sick in bed again in no time.

Can you prevent the flu?

There are a number of things you can do to prevent yourself from or infecting others with the flu virus:

  • Use tissue paper and discard after one use.
  • Hold a handkerchief over your nose and mouth when you need to sneeze or cough. No tissue to hand? Then cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Touch your nose and mouth as little as possible.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water . Dry your hands with paper and discard after use.
  • Ventilate all rooms by opening your windows for at least ten minutes every day.
  • Keep up your resistance. Want to know how to do that? Then read our article about resistance in which we give you five tips!
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What is Flu?

Flu (or influenza) is a disease caused by the flu virus. This virus infects the mucous membrane in your airways. Flu is not dangerous for most people and often disappears on its own. In the winter months, a flu wave often comes on.

Do you suspect that your complaints are caused by the coronavirus? Then contact your doctor by telephone . For the most current and reliable information about the corona virus.

What are the symptoms of flu?

If you are infected with the flu virus, you will get sick quickly: within about twelve hours. The symptoms of flu are:

  • High fever (39 degrees or higher)
  • Cold shivers
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Lifelessness
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain and joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Earache
  • Ticklish cough or persistent cough
  • Common cold
  • Overall feeling of being sick
  • Red throat and / or nasal mucosa

Why do you get muscle pain from flu?

The flu virus only infects your airways. It therefore does not seem logical that flu causes muscle pain. Yet this is the case. Muscle pain, just like fever and headache, is due to your own immune system. With flu, white blood cells send signal substances through your body, so that the other white blood cells in your body are warned about the invader. These signal substances can accumulate in muscle cells, where they activate pain receptors. This causes muscle pain in, for example, your arms, legs and back.

What to do about the flu?

If you have the flu, it is important to:

  • Take a rest . When you have the flu, it is important to get plenty of rest. The more you rest, the better your body can fight the flu virus.
  • Enough to drink . When you have a high fever, you sweat a lot. This will cause you to lose a lot of moisture. Therefore, drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day to maintain your moisture level. It is best to drink water or tea. Do you think you have a fever? Then check your body temperature with a thermometer .
  • Keep yourself warm . By dressing warmly and hiding under blankets, you stay nice and warm. Your body then has more energy to fight the flu.
  • Take a pain reliever . Paracetamol can help with headaches and muscle pain and can lower fever. Paracetamol does not make the flu pass faster. There is no point in taking antibiotics, because flu is not caused by bacteria, but by a virus.
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