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What is the average recovery time for a flu or cold?

Flu and cold season rolls around each year, and it can be inconvenient and uncomfortable to come down with either illness, regardless of your stage in life.

Whether you’re swamped with work, dealing with kids or it’s exam time, flus and colds can knock you out for a week or more.

Both of these illnesses have many shared signs. For instance, the cold and flu are passed around as infections. They also have many shared symptoms like coughing, sneezing and fatigue.

Each of these infections has different stages and recovery times.

Timeline of a cold:

Colds are different for each person, but they can appear up to three days after the person is exposed to the virus.

Typically, cold symptoms will last for about a week to ten days, peaking at day four. The common cold symptoms can develop slowly like:

    • Scratchy or sore throat
    • Fatigue
    • Runny nose
    • Nose congestion or stiffness
    • Sneezing

Normally, fever isn’t a symptom of a cold, but it can occur. The length of the cold can depend on the person. Someone who suffers from immune problems might experience more severe cold symptoms which last longer.

If symptoms continue for more than two weeks, it might mean that you have another condition like allergies, infections or sinusitis.

Contrary to popular belief, the contagious period can last days before symptoms begin, until days after.

If you’re suffering from a minor case of the cold and are looking for at-home remedies, here are a few you can try:

  • Stay rested – it’s important to stay rested when you first come down with a cold (or even the flu) so your body can focus on getting better.
  • Drink hot fluids –having warm drinks (such as tea) can help relieve nasal congestion, sootheinflammation and also prevent dehydration.
  • Take a hot shower – the steam from a warm shower will help clear out your nasal passages.

Timeline of the flu:

According to the experts at House Call Doctor, the flu (or influenza) usually starts showing symptoms between one to four days after the person is infected.

In comparison to a cold, flu symptoms come on very fast. These include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches.

As the flu runs its course, other symptoms may occur such as:

  • Flushed skin
  • Sever cough producing phlegm
  • Nasal congestion
  • Bloodshot or water eyes
  • Nausea and vomiting.

The typical flu lasts around one to two weeks. Although, its more severe symptoms last around two to three days.

You might still feel weak, fatigued and have a dry cough between three to seven days.

A person that is infected with the flu might be contagious between a day before any symptoms begin until seven days after feeling sick.

It’s recommended if you’re suffering from the flu or cold, that you stay home so that you recover faster, and you don’t infect others.

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What is the average recovery time for a flu or cold?