Fastest Way to Fight the Flu
It starts with a runny nose and a sore throat. Before you know it, your temperature is up, the chills have set in and you feel like you can barely get out of bed. Every fall and winter, the flu virus strikes in schools, at work and everywhere else. It can leave you feeling lousy for days. If you take quick action and treat it right, you can start feeling better sooner than you thought.
First 48 Hours
See your doctor within the first 48 hours of symptoms. Although there is no medicine that can instantly cure the flu, there are some things you can do initially to help fight it. If you see a doctor as soon as the symptoms strike, your doctor can administer antiviral medication. This won’t cure you, but it may help shorten the duration of your illness and can lessen its severity. This can be helpful, because the longer the flu hangs on, the more chance you have of developing complications like pneumonia.
Keep in tune with how your body feels. One of the worst things you can do when you have the flu is to carry on as normal and try to ignore it. Chances are, your body is exhausted. Sleep as much as you can to help your body fight the virus. By all means, stay home from work or school if at all possible. Besides restricting your body from getting the rest it needs, you will also make others more likely to become ill. So get all the sleep that you want and your immune system will thank you.
Drink plenty of water and juice to quench your thirst. You may not feel like eating or drinking anything, but it is absolutely necessary that you stay well hydrated during the flu. Chicken soup is good because not only does it provide liquid, but the steam will help clear up congestion. Drink enough fluids so that your urine is clear or light yellow. If you are vomiting or have diarrhea, you will need even more fluids to replace the ones you are losing.
Take acetaminophen and ibuprofen to help ease body aches and any other pains. Pain relievers aren’t going to make you get better any faster, but they will ease symptoms as you wait it out. Only take the medication as needed because overuse can cause certain side effects. Also, talk to a doctor before giving pain medication to a child. Certain medications, like aspirin, can cause Reye’s syndrome in children. This is a rare but sometimes deadly disorder.
Get the flu shot for the best protection against the virus. The flu vaccine is available at the start of flu season every year and is recommended for most people, especially young children, the elderly and pregnant women. It will not guard against all strains of the flu but is often effective at stopping some of the more prevalent ones. Even if it doesn’t prevent a specific strain of the flu, it can still help lessen duration and severity.