How Long A Person With Flu Is Contagious (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Five To Ten Days

Flu, used as a shorthand for Influenza, is one of the most infectious diseases and is caused when a person comes in contact with the influenza virus. Various symptoms might lead to flu. Symptoms include muscle pain, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, fever, coughing, headache, and a few others.

Influenza virus is a part of the Orthomyxoviridae family and consists of a single-stranded segment of RNA. The usual onset of the virus starts after one to four days after exposure. It is highly fatal to children or people of older age or person who is already suffering from a chronic disease.

How Long A Person With Flu Is Contagious?

Influenza is mainly of four types, namely IAV that is Influenza A Virus, IBV that is Influenza B Virus, ICV that is Influenza C Virus; and IDV Influenza D Virus. IAV is found to widespread in many mammals, mainly in humans and pigs. IBV and ICV are primarily found in human beings. ICV is found to cause a mild infection, mainly in children. IDV is generally found in pigs and cattle and sometimes also in humans, but it doesn’t cause any illness. Coughing and sneezing are the primary modes of transmission of the influenza virus in human beings.

The virus may also be transmitted through aerosols or intermediate objects. Virus-contaminated surfaces are also responsible for its transmission. Vomiting and Diarrhea are also some common symptoms, but they mainly occur in children. Influenza might lead a person to pneumonia primarily caused by a viral infection or a secondary cause such as bacterial infection. Flu might result in worsening of any pre-existing disease such as cardiovascular disease or asthma.

Age Group Of The PatientTime Taken To Recover
ChildrenEight to ten days
AdultsFive to seven days

Children diagnosed with influenza are contagious for a long time and might take anywhere between eight to ten days to recover completely as their immunity system is weaker. In comparison, an adult’s immunity system is much better than a child’s, and they can recover from the virus in about seven days. There are various vaccines available in the market that can prevent a person from getting contaminated by the virus.

Why Is A Person With Flu Contagious For So Long?

The virus first binds to a target cell, and the covering of the surface envelopes follows that with HA proteins. It is advised to stay away from a person suffering from Influenza. Governments do run annual vaccination drives so that everyone can be immune to the virus. One of the biggest reasons for the flu staying for that long is that it attacks the human body cells and is a disease that affects the body’s internal part and not the external one. Also, the virus’s mutation rate is very high, and it can multiply itself at a very rapid pace.

It is always advised to seek a medical expert when a person starts showing the virus’s symptoms. The person stays contagious for that long because the virus affects the working of the immune system. The body cells cannot fight the virus, and it takes a bit of time for the body cells to develop resistance against the virus. WHO reviews the global effects of the virus annually and detects whether a new strain of virus is found or not.

There are three types of vaccines available to fight the virus: split virus vaccines, subunit vaccines, and whole virus vaccines. All three vaccines have different processes to immune an individual from the virus, but they are very effective. However, every individual’s moral duty is to use sanitizers and masks to keep everyone safe.

Conclusion

Overall, it can be concluded that Flu is a hazardous virus and can attack a person of any age group. It has several symptoms, and a person must visit a doctor if the person shows any signs. The virus has four types, and mammals are the most affected by it, whether humans or animals.

On average, an individual remains contagious for anywhere in between five to ten days, depending on the age group that they fall in. Multiple vaccines are available in the market, and a person must vaccinate itself to be safe. It is also a good practice to take proper precautions not to get affected by the virus.

References

  1. https://sfamjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2672.2001.01492.x
  2. https://europepmc.org/article/med/1609165
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