The flu virus also known as influenza; is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms can be mild to severe. The most common symptoms include: a high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, and feeling tired. Most people who get the flu can treat themselves at home and often don’t need to see a doctor; in fact most cases of the flu heal on their own.
How does one get the flu virus?
It is thought that the flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose. That being said that answers the question of whether the flu is contagious. Yes, the flu is contagious, in fact you may even be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
Experts believe most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. It is recommended that people should get vaccinated for the flu annually. Getting vaccinated is your best line of defense against the pesky flu virus. Since most cases of the flu can be treated at home here are some things you can do at home to ease your flu symptoms: get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids and take Tylenol to relieve body aches and fever.
When should you see your doctor?
If you are at risk for having flu related complications you should be seen by your doctor immediately. These risks include small children, those who are pregnant, the elderly or those with chronic health problems like diabetes or heart disease.