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The Flu and You

Some may think that because spring is coming, the flu season is coming to an end. This doesn’t mean we are out of the storm yet though, as anyone, healthy or not, can still get the flu. So if you are one of the few unlucky people who has caught the flu, then this article is for you.
The most important step in helping yourself get better is to first recognise the symptoms of the flu. According to Healthline, some early symptoms of the flu are:
● Sudden or excessive fatigue
● Runny or stuffy nose
● Body Aches and Chills
● Persistent Cough (doesn’t have to have mucus or phlegm)
● Sore Throat
● Fever
● Stomach Problems (Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
While these are all common signs of the flu, you don’t have to have all of these symptoms to have the flu. Stomach problems are only with certain strains of influenza and not everyone develops a fever. Recognizing these early signs though can mean all the difference between being out sick for only a few days to been sick for a week or longer.
A major problem with having the flu is the fact it is a progressive illness, so some symptoms get worse before getting better. You should immediately seek medical care if while sick you get these symptoms:
● Chest pain
● Breathing difficulties
● Bluish skin and lips
● Severe dehydration
● Dizziness and confusion
● Recurring fever
● Worsening cough
So you have the flu, and it sucks. Luckily there are a large number of ways you can help the recovery process go a little bit faster, and make yourself feel a little bit better. The first step is to a visit a doctor immediately, in most cases they will prescribe antiviral medications like Tamiful or Roche. You can also take store bought remedies like Tylenol, DayQuil/Nyquil, and Robitussin to take as well, but ask your doctor first because you should only take what is needed. The next important step in to stay home. Nothing helps heal a person than staying home and resting.
The next important item to consider is food and liquids. You should be drinking as much liquid as you can. This doesn’t just have to be water either; teas, fruit juices, sports drinks, broth-based soups (think chicken noodle) all work well. For food, you should to eat things that are easy to digest and easy to heat, chicken noodle soup is recommended because of the mixtures of vegetables, meats, hot broth, and nutrients it gives.
Other important things you can do, if you have the strength, would be to breath in steam from boiled water (or run a hot shower and let the room get steamy), gargle salt water to help clear your throat, or simply run a humidifier. These will all a little bit in making you feel better.
The best things you can do for yourself when is to rest as possible, drink as much as you can, eat when you can and take care of yourself. If you can, try and convince a friend, family member, or roommate to give you a hand while you are sick. The more you rest the better you will be and everyone likes to be taken care of when they are sick. Just make sure you don’t hang out too much and that they don’t touch anything you have. A medical mask can help both you and them from spreading the flu and from the catching it.
After you’ve recovered, wait 24 hours after you are symptom free. You may have beat the virus but it is still in your body and can be spread even when you aren’t sick anymore. Having experience the flu, and knowing how bad it is, you’ll want to take extra caution and more preventive measures to not getting again. The best way to prevent getting the flu is getting the yearly flu vaccination. Other easy preventive measures are:
● Wash your hands with warm water and soap every time you shake hands or touch a surface that might be germ-covered.
● Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you for times when you can’t get to a sink.
● Take extra care to not touch your mouth, eyes, or nose without washing your hands first.
● Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
● Cover your cough to protect others
● Quit Smoking
The flu is very nasty and anyone who has ever had it would agree. According to the CDC, this last season of the flu has been the worse the U.S. has seen in a decade. So even if the peak of the flu is over, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, cover your mouth when you cough. Do take care.