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Cheryl K.
Cheryl K., Health Enthusiast
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience:  Gen. Medicine/OB/GYN Infectious Disease /STD/Sexual Health/ Orthopaedics/ Pediatrics/Internal
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Can you get flu just by being around someone with the flu?

Resolved Question:

Can you get the flu just by being near someone who has it and what is the incubation period for it?

Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Christie Baldwin replied 11 years ago.

The incubation period for the flu is 2 to 4 days. Although there are no or only minor symptoms at this point, the virus is contagious during this period. Usually on the fifth day of the cylce, symptoms set in full force. Days six through nine, the flu virus is in full force and immune system is at its weakest.
The flu gets around in the little droplets that spray out when a person coughs or sneezes. If someone has coughed or sneezed near you, you may breathe in some of these droplets. Also if you touch something that some of these tiny droplets have landed on and then touch your nose or mouth, you could also catch the flu. If you were around someone who had the flu you could pick it up, but this is not necessarily true if you wash your hands frequently and do not get too close, especially if they have been coughing or sneezing.

Christie Baldwin, Internet researcher
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 22
Experience: Bachelor's Degree, minor in health education
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Customer: replied 11 years ago.

I mean I was in close contact with someone with the flu, but they did not cough or sneeze in my direction, but they did laugh in my direction and I was wondering if that was a way of transmitting the germs. Also they were nauseous and throwing up the night before and I was wondering if that was part of the flu also. We know it was the flu because that's why we brought her to he hospital and they did a nasal swab to confirm the diagnosis. Her daughter who is 2 was throwing up today with a high fever and I'm terrified that I'm gonna get it.

Expert:  Cheryl K. replied 11 years ago.

The best thing that you could do is to get yourself on some preventative medication now that can cut your risk of getting it. If they did not cough or sneeze in your direction and were not too close when they laughed, there is only a slight chance that you can become infected as well by that action. But if you were in the hospital with them and around them for any length of time then there is a chance that you will come down with the flu as well. Your best bet is to get some Theraflu or Tylenol Flu now to help lessen the symptoms, should you come down with it. You may not know for up to five days as it takes this long for the virus to become active. If you are that worried I would also suggest that you drink plenty of fluids to help flush your system and this can help to lessen the severity of the symptoms as well. I do not feel that laughing could have exposed you to the flu virus but being with them at the hospital and around them for any length of time could have put you at risk for developing the flu as well.

Cheryl K., Health Enthusiast
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 5525
Experience: Gen. Medicine/OB/GYN Infectious Disease /STD/Sexual Health/ Orthopaedics/ Pediatrics/Internal
Cheryl K. and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you