Verified on 03/31/2024 by Alexane Flament, Editor

Flu symptoms appear between 1 and 4 days after contamination by the virus.

In the majority of cases, the illness lasts a week. This is how the disease progresses from Day 0 to Day 7.

Day 0 to day 2: symptoms increase crescendo

Day #0

Day 0 marks the arrival of the virus in the body. It’s the day of contamination.

You caught the virus by inhaling or swallowing small droplets containing the virus when someone close to you sneezed, coughed or spoke close to your face for a long time.

You may also have caught the virus by bringing your contaminated hands to your mouth, eyes or nose after touching surfaces or objects on which the virus was present.

At this stage, you have no symptoms of the disease, you feel well and you are not very contagious.

Day #1

On day 1, your immune system begins to defend itself against the virus. They produce antibodies which trigger inflammatory processes to neutralize the virus. It also triggers unpleasant symptoms such as sudden onset fever, chills, body aches and headaches.

Day #2

On day 2, tAll the symptoms of the flu have taken over your body. In addition to fever, body aches and headaches, there are respiratory symptoms (blocked nose, sore throat, cough) and significant fatigue. Too weak, you can’t get out of bed.

Day 3: the “worst” day of the illness

Day #3

Day 3 is considered the worst day of the illness because all the symptoms are intense and the general condition is at its lowest.

Inflammation of the airways (nasal cavities and throat) causes severe congestion and an unbearable sore throat. Headaches and high fever make it difficult to simply raise your head.

At this stage, inflammation of the bronchi causes a severe dry cough. In children, there may be diarrhea and vomiting.

Day 4 to Day 7: a gradual return to normal

Days #4 to 7

On day 4, the system has normally regained control of the disease. Until day 7, the symptoms will subside. The fever is no longer there and the other symptoms gradually subside.

The nose clears and the sore throat has disappeared. The cough is no longer permanent but it is still there. It has become oily (the mucus is evacuated by coughing).

Day #8

By day 8, you are much better and can return to your daily activities.

Annabelle Iglesias


March 31, 2024, at 4:10 p.m.

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