Is influenza contagious?

Posted on Fri, 16 May 2014 in General Health
Question: Hi. I have what was a pretty bad cold, but is starting to improve after a week. I'm feeling better, but I'm concerned about passing it on. Am I contagious for as long as I have symptoms?
Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
You are contagious 1 day before and 5-7 days after

Detailed Answer:
I am Dr.Rovena
I had gone through your query and your medical history.
Influenza, commonly called "the flu," is an illness caused by RNA viruses that infect the respiratory tract.
The virus is replicated in epithelial cells of your respiratory tract causing inflammation which is responsible for all symptoms of flu.

Influenza virus shedding (the time during which a person might be infectious to another person) begins the day before symptoms appear and virus is then released for five to seven days.
Your most contagious period has been between the second and third day after infection.

If since the day you had the first symptoms has been more than 7 days you are not contagious anymore.
The majority of individuals has symptoms for about one to two weeks and then recovers with no problems.

Hope I was able to help you.
If you have further questions please feel free to write me.I will be happy to answer.
Wish you quick and complete recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
Follow up: Dr. Rovena Murati 52 minutes later
The flu? I thought I just had a cold... How can you tell the difference?
Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati 39 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Differentiating between them can be difficult.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for using HealthcareMagic.

The flu and common cold are both upper respiratory infection caused by viruses.
The difference is that flu is caused by a specific virus called Influenza and common cold can be caused by a number of different types of viruses.

While some of the symptoms of the common cold and influenza may be similar, patients with the common cold typically have a milder illness.Differentiating between the common cold and influenza can be difficult.

The viruses that cause common cold or Influenza virus have the same period of incubation.For both of this condition a patient is contagious 1-2 day before his symptoms appear and until a week later.
If it was a flu or a common cold doesn't change anything for you.
Important is that after a week you are not contagious any more and I am glad you are improving now.

If you have further queries please write me.
Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
Answered by
Dr. Rovena Murati

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 1243 Questions


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