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Thread: How long can the flu last?

  1. #1
    Stegodon
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    Default How long can the flu last?

    I'm sick with it at the moment and a friend of mine told me there is a 100 day flu going around. After laughing/coughing my ass off I got to wondering how long it could actually last. 10 days? A month? I know you can be sick with cancer for years but I imagine having an infectious disease like the flu for more than a month would waste you away to death.

    Please tell me I'm not going to be blowing my nose every five minutes for a hundred days.

  2. #2
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: How long can the flu last?

    The only references to "100-day-flu" I can find are a couple of recent YahooAnswers posts, and you can guess how reliable those are.

    However, there are a number of recent references to "100 day cough." That would be pertussis, or whooping cough. This is a pretty comprehensive article, though I can't vouch for its complete accuracy.

    My own parents have been coughing for over a week (had to skip a trip to Florida because of it), and everyone around here seems to be saying "Oh, they've got that thing that's going around. That's a nasty cold." But just this past week, there was a child at a local middle school diagnosed with whooping cough. It makes me wonder if the rest of all those people coughing are actually infected with whooping cough; it's very contagious.
    The poster formerly known as Jenaroph

  3. #3
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Default Re: How long can the flu last?

    One thing about the flu is that it can lead into secondary infections. I had it this winter and it did take me a long, long time to get over it. I started coughing around the end of November and was seriously ill for a large portion of December. Since, I've spent about two thirds of my time mildly sick and the other third feeling okay. I'll start to get better and then something new comes along.

    So, the flu hasn't lasted a hundred days, but getting over the flu has.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

  4. #4
    Elephant
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    Default Re: How long can the flu last?

    Quote Originally posted by EthelMercaptan
    The only references to "100-day-flu" I can find are a couple of recent YahooAnswers posts, and you can guess how reliable those are.
    What do you mean? That's where I learned how is babby formed.

  5. #5
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Default Re: How long can the flu last?

    Does that mean you can tell me how girl get pragnent?
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

  6. #6
    Member
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    Default Re: How long can the flu last?

    I accidentally whopping cough. Is that bad?

  7. #7
    Stegodon
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    Default Re: How long can the flu last?

    Accidentally what?
    The poster formerly known as Jenaroph

  8. #8
    Oliphaunt
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    Default Re: How long can the flu last?

    Okay, back on track!

    There are four stages to the flu, like most illnesses. There's the
    incubation period, where there are no signs or symptoms of illness,
    the prodromal period (aka "I think I'm coming down with something...") when signs and symptoms are mild,
    the period of illness, during which signs and symptoms increase in severity,
    the period of decline*, when the signs and symptoms decrease in severity but are still most definitely present, and finally
    the period of convalescence, where signs and symptoms are slight and intermittent - they come and go.

    The incubation period for influenza is 24-72 hours, depending on the strain and the infective dose (if you snort up more flu viruses, you'll get sick more quickly). The acute stages (the periods of illness and decline) generally last 3-7 days.The period of convalescence from true influenza can be staggeringly long, up to two months depending on your general health, nutritional status and activity levels. So while 100 days is exaggerating, it's not exaggerating by much, if you include the period of convalescence.

    I did have an (unidentified) true 100 day acute illness this fall and winter with an upper respiratory infection. It was miserable. But it wasn't influenza.



    *Which always makes me think of Marvin: "The first ten million years were the worst. And the second ten million, they were the worst, too. After that, things went into a bit of a decline." :|
    Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one. A moment. In childhood. When it first occurred to you that you don't go on forever. Must have been shattering. Stamped into one's memory. And yet, I can't remember it.

  9. #9
    Oliphaunt featherlou's avatar
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    Default Re: How long can the flu last?

    I have a funny (think peculiar, not haha) thing with a persistent cough after a cold; I'll often end up with a cough that won't go away on its own. My doctor explained it as a positive feedback loop - I cough, which irritates my bronchioles, which makes me cough, which irritates my bronchioles, which makes me cough, on into infinity. I get a prescription for some bronchiole dialators (basically asthma medicine) to take for about a week which breaks the cycle so my body can finish recovering from the cold. Maybe this is what people are experiencing with a "cold that won't go away."

    I had the funniest cold last fall, though. I am a generally healthy person; I get a fall cold and a spring cold and that's it. My fall cold last year came back three times, hitting a different body part and getting weaker each time (first time was head, second time was throat, third time was lungs). That was unprecedented for me.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: How long can the flu last?

    I once thought I had mono for an entire year. Turns out I was just really bored.

  11. #11
    Oliphaunt
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    Default Re: How long can the flu last?

    I once thought I had every disease known to mankind, simultaneously. Turns out I was just in a Microbiology class.

    (How are doctors not all hypochondriacs?!)
    Whatever became of the moment when one first knew about death? There must have been one. A moment. In childhood. When it first occurred to you that you don't go on forever. Must have been shattering. Stamped into one's memory. And yet, I can't remember it.

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