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Most people with flu have mild illness and DO NOT need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. Common flu signs and symptoms include:
- Fever above 100 F (38 C), though not everyone with the flu has a fever
- A cough or sore throat
- A runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle aches
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea (most common in children)
With some rest and self-care measures at home, the average healthy person can expect to get better within a week, although a dry cough may last for several weeks.
Flu symptoms can make you feel awful. But if you're otherwise healthy, younger than age 65, and not pregnant, you can generally take care of yourself at home rather than going to your doctor. Try these remedies:
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) to reduce fever and muscle aches. Don't give products containing aspirin to children or teens recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms. This is because aspirin has been linked to Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition, in such children.
- Most cough medications do not help very much and may pose risks especially to children. You can try a warm tea with honey, a humidifier, or throat lozenges.
- Drink clear fluids, such as water, broth, or sports drinks.
- Rest as needed or change some of your activities, depending on your symptoms.
To avoid infecting other people, stay home from work, school and other public places for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medications. Most people feel better within a week of becoming infected with the flu virus. However, coughing may last for another one or two weeks.
If you or someone you're caring for is at high risk of flu-related complications and you suspect the flu, call the doctor and ask to be evaluated.
Moses Lake 509-765-0674
You have an increased risk of flu-related complications if you:
- Are younger than 12 months old
- Are 65 years old or older
- Are pregnant or have given birth in the past two weeks
- Have certain chronic medical conditions, including lung diseases such as asthma, an airway abnormality, heart disease, diabetes, neurological or neurodevelopmental disease, metabolic disorders, and kidney, liver or blood disease.
- Have a weakened immune system
No. The emergency room should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill.
If you have emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the emergency room. If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at higher risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your healthcare provider for advice.
CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the need to use a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol. Until then, you should stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.
Rest. Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. If you must leave home, for example, to get medical care, wear a facemask if you have one, or cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Wash your hands often to keep from spreading the flu to others.
The single best way to reduce the risk of seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like avoiding people who are sick, covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like flu.
- Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
- Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.
- Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.