Millions of individuals all over the globe acquire the flu every year. In most cases, an acute illness resolves within 2-5 days but the respiratory symptoms such as sore throat and cough can last for up to 2 weeks. Take note that some of the symptoms of flu can last longer and some groups are more susceptible than others to suffer from persistent flu symptoms.
Even though many individuals end up with the flu every year, it is recommended to find ways to avoid acquiring the condition. The best way is to receive the yearly flu vaccination to minimize the risk of acquiring the condition.
The fever due to the flu typically peaks within 24 hours and then followed by gradual reduction over 2-3 days. If the fever lasts longer than 7 days and accompanied by seizures or delirium, it requires proper assessment by a doctor to come up with a diagnosis and treatment.
In a study conducted, cough was considered as the most persistent flu symptom. The other symptoms of flu such as runny nose, sore throat and nasal congestion are likely to start later and end sooner than the cough. Individuals who have respiratory symptoms that persist longer than 2 weeks, disrupt with breathing and/or produce more than trace amounts of cough and has yellow or green sputum should be properly assessed by a doctor for complications of flu.
Muscle pain and weakness
Muscle pain and weakness has been the second most persistent symptom of flu. Among the elderly and those who are severely ill, they might require several weeks before able to return to previous activity levels. Those who experience severe pain, those unable to engage in activities of daily living or experience pain in other parts of the body should be properly assessed by a doctor.
Those who have the flu should take some time to rest. Taking a break from work or school is vital in order to allow the body to rest.
Flu can set the stage of various complications such as ear infections, pneumonia, inflammation of the brain and other issues that can prolong the recovery period. The complications typically occur as abrupt deterioration and/or new symptoms in an individual who was previously improving.
Even though anyone can experience the complications of flu, they typically occur most often among children below 5 years old, elderly, pregnant women and those with other medical issues.
Exacerbation of chronic diseases
Flu can frequently worsen medical issues such as heart, lung and kidney diseases. Individuals who have health issues often require medication adjustment and even new therapies such as supplemental oxygen or even mechanical ventilation. Some should expect longer recoveries and a return to previous baselines might not be possible anymore.