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How long does influenza type A last?

Dr. Greg W. Halbur, MD
Family Practitioner

For most healthy people, the influenza type A is an uncomfortable but short-term illness that resolves itself as the immune system fights it off. Symptoms usually appear from one to four days after exposure to the virus, and they last five to seven days. For people who have had the flu shot, the symptoms may last a shorter amount of time.

Even when symptoms resolve, people may continue to feel fatigued. Coughing, sore throat and congestion may last for days or weeks. People who get the flu should get rest, drink plenty of fluids and take pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil or Aleve to lower fever and relieve the aches.

The first symptoms of influenza type A, including fever, chills, headache and body aches, often begin to go away after about 2 or 3 days. In some cases, these symptoms will last 5 days or longer. The respiratory symptoms of influenza type A, such as coughing, throat irritation and congestion may last for days or weeks. However, most people are not contagious after about a week from the beginning of symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.