What to Do If You Get the Flu


With flu season right around the corner, you are most likely taking steps to prevent the spread of the flu by getting a flu shot, keeping your hands clean, etc. But what should you do if you end up catching the flu? Get better soon with this advice from Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group.

Get Some Rest

Your body needs extra energy to fight off the flu. Try not to overexert yourself and relax in a comfortable place, especially if you are experiencing aches and pains. Go to bed early and take naps during the day to give your body the boost it needs.

Wash Your Hands

To avoid spreading germs, wash your hands after you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose. Use warm water and rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds, spreading soap to both sides of your hands, your wrists, and between your fingers. Always dry your hands with a clean towel. It is also a good idea to keep alcohol-based hand sanitizer near you when soap and water aren’t easily accessible. When cleaning your hands with hand sanitizer, rub the liquid all over your hands until they are dry.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids as you fight off the flu. While water is a great hydrator, milk, orange juice, and drinks specifically used to rehydrate the body with electrolytes are also excellent at keeping you hydrated. Compared to water, these drinks allow your body to conserve a larger amount of liquid. Because of the potassium, sodium, and electrolytes in these drinks, the stomach empties at a slower rate, providing more hydration to your body.

Treat Your Symptoms

When you have the flu, you often experience congestion, aches, and fever. Decongestants, acetaminophen, and other over-the-counter medicines can alleviate these symptoms. While these medications do not cure the flu, they can make your recovery time more comfortable.

Talk To Your Doctor

If you experience flu symptoms, visit your doctor right away. He or she may prescribe antiviral medications, which can shorten the duration of the flu if you begin taking them within the first two days of having symptoms. It’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional to start the right treatment plan.

Learn more about the flu vaccine and schedule an appointment to get yours before flu season reaches its peak.

 

Sources:

New York Times - Milk and Other Surprising Ways to Stay Hydrated

Influenza

 

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