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What to do if you get the flu

January 9, 2013

Influenza affects the respiratory system, including your nose, throat and lungs. It may start like the common cold, with a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat and sneezing, but it soon begins to feel much worse. You may have a temperature above 100 degrees, a headache, body aches, chills and sweats, fatigue and a dry cough.

What to do if you get sick.

Most people get over a bout of influenza by following these simple instructions:

  1. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, juice and warm soups. The Mayo Clinic recommends drinking enough so that your urine is clear or pale yellow. This will help to prevent dehydration.
  2. Get plenty of rest. Sleep helps your immune system fight infections.
  3. Use pain relievers, if needed. Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) and ibuprofen (such as Advil) are good choices. Remember, do not give aspirin to children or teens because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome.

Who is at high risk for complications?

Some people are at a higher risk of complications from influenza. These are:

  • Young children
  • Older adults
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with weakened immune systems
  • People with chronic illnesses

When should you call your doctor?

You should call your doctor if you are in a high risk category and develop influenza symptoms. Antiviral medications (such as Tamiflu or Relenza) taken within the first 48 hours after symptoms appear can reduce the length and severity of the illness.

For more information:

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Remember – It’s not too late to get a flu shot. Contact your physician or the Apple Valley Medical Clinic at 952-432-6161 today!

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