Recovering From the Flu: What to Expect

Jan 16, 2024
Recovering From the Flu: What to Expect

Flu season is in full swing, and millions of Americans are trying to recover right now. When you’re feeling terrible and just want relief, it helps to know what to expect as you move through recovery.

Flu season includes the fall and winter months, with most cases occurring in December through February. Here at EMC Express Care, our urgent care specialists are seeing a significant spike in flu cases in our North Richland Hills, Texas, office this month, so we decided to cover flu recovery in our January blog. 

Our goal is to help you understand how the flu affects you, what to expect, and when you’ll recover. Read on to learn more about the different stages you’ll experience with the flu and how you can navigate recovery effectively. 

Flu infection

When you’re first infected with the flu, you likely won’t feel any different. Many people continue their normal routines, having no idea they have the flu. It’s the calm before the storm. 

Flu symptoms

Flu symptoms usually start within 48 hours of infection. While a cold causes a gradual onset of symptoms, the flu is fast and furious. Suddenly, you may develop:

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches (whole-body aches are common)
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Fever

Most people with the flu experience multiple symptoms. It’s common to stay in bed during this period because the symptoms can be overwhelming. 

We recommend flu testing if you’re experiencing symptoms of this type. Flu testing can confirm the flu and rule out other viruses or illnesses, and that in turn can help us determine what kind of treatment can help you get better as fast as possible. 

Flu recovery

One of the main questions we hear from our patients is, “When will I start feeling better?” We understand the flu can feel just awful, so it’s natural that feeling better is your top priority. 

Fortunately, we have good news: Symptoms usually don’t last too long, especially if you come in for treatment as soon as your symptoms start.

If you come to see us at EMC Express Care during the early stage of your flu, we can often prescribe a medication such as TamiFlu®, an antiviral medication that fights the flu virus at its source. It can help reduce the length of time you have flu symptoms by a day or two.

But this type of medication is only effective in people who’ve experienced flu symptoms for no more than two days, so reach out to us as soon as you have symptoms. 

Even if you’re past that two-day mark, we can help you bounce back by treating your symptoms effectively. We can also treat secondary infections that may arise from untreated flu, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, using medications tailored to your specific needs. 

Uncomplicated flu symptoms usually go away within a week and possibly as little as three days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

With more severe cases of the flu, symptoms may last two weeks or longer. You’re particularly susceptible to more severe flu if you’re older or have a chronic respiratory system illness. 

No matter what kind of flu symptoms you’re having or how bad it is, we can make your recovery smoother and easier. We’re open every day (seven days a week) with extended hours from 10am-8pm. Phone our office at 817-503-8800 now.