According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a flu infection is a serious respiratory disease that can result in potentially fatal complications. But if you have suffered from muscle aches, high fever, sore throat, fatigue, and runny nose, you don’t need the CDC to tell this fact, especially when you were hospitalized due to its complications.
But even when you’re not feeling well, you have to take the right steps to reduce the risks for spreading your flu infection. By doing so, you are also taking the right steps in reducing the severity and duration of your symptoms, which means you can feel better faster.
Take Over-the-counter Medications
Keep in mind that antibiotics and antibacterial medications will not in any way treat your flu infections for a simple reason – a flu infection is caused by a virus instead of bacteria. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs but these are not treatments per se but medications designed to shorten the duration and reduce the severity of your symptoms. You will still take anywhere from one to two weeks before you can get back to normal after a flu infection.
You can also take an over-the-counter medications to relieve your symptoms including:
- Anti-fever medicine like acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal drug like Aleve and Motrin to reduce your muscles aches and pains
- Cough suppressants
If possible, you should consult your doctor about taking several OTC medications simultaneously. You may be at risk for an overdose when you are taking two medications with the same active ingredient.
Also, you should never give aspirin to children and teenagers infected with a virus because it has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a serious illness.
Take the Time to Get Well
You may also be able to relieve your symptoms by taking the time off to get well instead of forcing your body through its daily routine. You can apply these methods in this regard:
- Get plenty of rest and sleep.
- Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water, fruit juices, and sports drinks containing electrolytes
- Eat nutritious foods as much as you possibly can even with your lack of appetite
- Reduce fever-related discomfort by applying a cool, damp washcloth to your arms, legs, and forehead
- Make breathing easier even with a runny nose by installing a humidifier in your bedroom
- Soothe your sore throat by gargling with warm salt water
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
You should also reduce the risks of spreading your infection by wearing a face mask in public and washing your hands frequently. Of course, prevention is the key so be sure to have your seasonal flu vaccine at Target.