What to Do When You Have the Flu
The very best way of reducing your risk of catching the flu is to keep yourself as in good physical shape as you possibly can. This means you should keep your immune system healthy by eating a good diet, taking regular exercise ensuring you get enough sleep and avoiding smoking.
It’s also a good idea to ensure you avoid any situation where you may be in direct contact of those people who may be sneezing and coughing especially if they don’t take the precaution of covering their mouth and nose when doing so. It’s also important to remember that if you have a flu vaccination, it does not stop you catching a heavy cold or a different strain of the flu virus.
So how can you tell whether you have a cold or the flu?
It’s quite simple really; the flu knocks you off you off your feet within hours, whilst a cold can build up over a few days.
With the flu, you can go to work feeling perfectly fine in the morning, and by the end of the day be completely knocked for six, too ill to do anything. The flu can last up to 8-10 days and will generally leave you feeling exhausted for days if not weeks afterwards.
As stated previously, a cold builds up gradually with the symptoms appearing over a period of days. It also usually only affects the nose, throat, sinuses and the upper respiratory system. With a cold, you may feel rotten, but you can usually go about your daily business, plus you’re usually ok after about a week. With the flu, most people retire to their bed for several days because they feel so ill.
Treating your symptoms
Here are some of the best ways of treating the flu
* Get plenty of sleep because your body needs it to help your immune system fight off the infection
* Try and keep as warm as you can, (but don’t overdo it)
* Take mild anti-inflammatory medication or paracetamol to help control headaches, high temperatures and body aches.
* Drink plenty of fluids to ensure you don’t become dehydrated
Don’t bother the doctor for antibiotics unless you develop a bacterial infection because they don’t work with viruses. There are limited antiviral treatments that can be given to those people who may be at high risk, but generally it’s thought to be much better to let the flu virus run it’s course.
Your best bet for treatment advice is your local pharmacist, he is well qualified to give advice on all aspects of the flu.
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