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Wellness

What To Expect If You Get The Flu

What you might not realize is that the flu is not something to laugh off, or that you should try to avoid if you are ill. I’m not saying stay away from your doctor if you are ill, but you should know that you are at a higher risk for serious illness if you are ill.

The flu, like all seasonal illnesses is likely to have mild symptoms, like coughing. But if you are having fever, sore throat, or chills, contact your doctor immediately. The best advice is to stay home until the symptoms last, but if you have a fever for more than a few days, contact your doctor right away to avoid complications from the flu. Also, it is important to keep well hydrated during the flu! Drinking plenty of fluids can be particularly helpful if you take the flu with a low-molecular weight hemoglobin (a common marker of the flu, meaning less than 75%). The CDC recommends that adults get at least 2 quarts of fluids a day, and infants, children, and children under 5 should follow that same recommendation. I recommend to those of you who take the flu to drink 8-10 glasses of fluids as well. The CDC also recommends that you take an antiviral pill.

For those who do get the flu, there is no cure. There are some treatments that can help lessen the severity. The CDC recommends that you stay home and avoid contact with others as much as possible for 5-7 days before you could go back to school, work, or home (that’s the best case case scenario). This means you can’t get around as much, so make sure you are on time and have the appropriate transport. It is also suggested to take a cold shower or bath. A cold shower can improve your body’s ability to fight off flu viruses. The CDC recommends taking an antiviral after the flu, but before the actual symptoms begin to show. You might be able to improve your symptoms with these medicines: 

It should be noted that there are drugs that you can take to treat the symptoms of the flu such as triptans or neuraminidase inhibitors.

What does The Flu Mean For Your Kids?

This may be the most important question about the flu for parents. If you are one of the 1% and have a child with severe flu, the best thing to do is leave them home if you are not feeling well. The CDC recommends that all children 8+ get a flu shot.

So, If You Are Having The Flu And It’s Really Bad, What Do You Do?

If you are at home, take an antiviral pill to help relieve your symptoms in the future and don’t touch and sneeze until you feel better. If you are in school you should not enter if there is a fever, chills, coughing and sore throat. Also, please refrain from coming back to school, as it should be treated as a severe illness until you are well! If you have been hospitalized for a prolonged time, a doctor has advised you to stay out from work, school, and social activities for 7 days after receiving care. The CDC recommends the same thing for hospitalized people. Finally, you should not get a flu shot or try to treat yourself with medications (unless you have an alternative treatment and can’t get to your doctor). Do not get any other medications that you are not familiar with. Some things to consider may help you stay calm if you’re having the flu and really, really hate being sick.

One last thing to consider is that just because it has been flu season for awhile, that doesn’t mean you aren’t still contagious. So, if you are sick with the flu, and it’s really getting to you, take a hot shower, put on some nice sweaters and head outdoors.