How Long Does a Typical Cold or Flu Last Without Treatment?

Flu and cold treatment options vary due to several factors. Overall health, patient’s age and symptoms can affect the longevity and severity of the sickness. Flu and cold symptoms can include headaches, runny or stuffy nose, coughs, ear aches, sore throats and more.

Finding out if you have a cold or the flu is important because treatments can and should vary. The flu virus should be treated within 48 hours of the first symptoms to help cut the time of the total virus and can also help prevent more serious illness. WebMD has some great material to help you determine whether it is a cold or the flu.

According to WebMD, flu symptoms come on fast, usually improving within two to five days, while colds usually start with a runny nose gradually adding more symptoms and lasting about a week. With the flu virus, fatigue and body weakness can last up to three weeks. Patients who are older, have a weak immune system or chronic diseases may have a harder time getting rid of the sickness and symptoms.

Immediate Care of Oklahoma locations are fully stocked with flu vaccines for the whole family. We can treat colds and flus and help you determine what treatment options are best for you and your symptoms.

How to Tell if your Child is Too Sick for School

During this flu season, as a parent, you might jump at the sign of a single cough or sneeze. With the illnesses going around strongly this season, it’s important to stay alert and keep an eye out for any symptoms that could develop into something stronger. But where should you draw the line? At Immediate Care, we make it a priority to educate our patients for situations like these, and help you learn how to tell if your child is too sick for school.

In this article from, expert Dr. Robert Key explains that children below the age of eight, approximately, are not equipped to fight the viruses that go around at school, resulting often in colds and illnesses.

Key added that there are other signs that kids should stay home from school, including:

Throwing up two or more times during a 24-hour period, or not being able to keep normal foods or drinks down.

  • A fever of 101 Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Severe coughing or trouble breathing.
  • Repeated severe diarrhea for at least a day.
  • Stomach pains that last for more than two hours.
  • Open sores on the mouth.
  • An unexplained skin rash or red eye.

If or when your child begins showing any of these symptoms, it’s important to get them into a doctor. At Immediate Care, we have physicians that are able to help you at all the convenient and inconvenient hours of the day. Our child-friendly facilities and convenient online check-in option make visiting the doctor during a stressful time much more hassle-free.

Dr. Key also mentions other tips for knowing how to tell if your child is too sick to go to school:

Children who are diagnosed with contagious conditions such as strep throat, chicken pox and impetigo should not go to school until they can no longer pass the condition on to someone else.

“Colds, the “stomach flu,” pink eye and strep throat are the culprits behind most missed school days,” Key said. Parents who notice symptoms that seem worse than a common cold should schedule an appointment with their child’s pediatrician.

It can be difficult at younger ages, but there are many things that you can do for your child to help them prevent an illness, starting with most importantly, keeping them as germ-free as possible. By washing their hands thoroughly with soap and water, a child will be less likely to catch whatever may be going around at school or even home. Also, by drinking water and taking Vitamins, they can fight off common colds and even the flu.

Immediate Care is not only here to help you learn how to tell if your child is too sick for school, but will also help you if that time comes. Open 8am-8pm every day of the week, we are able to treat your child at times that are more convenient than the average doctors office. Check in online today, and get your child get back to feeling normal!