Every year, millions of people get sick with influenza. Commonly known as the flu, it is a highly contagious viral infection. It targets the respiratory system – the nose, throat, and lungs. The flu virus travels through the air in droplets when infected people cough, sneeze, or talk. It is also possible for you to pick up the virus from touching objects in contact with infected people. The flu virus can live outside the body for a couple of hours to a few days, depending on its location.
What are the Symptoms of the Flu?
Coming down with the flu often entails taking a leave of absence from work or school because of how symptoms manifest. Symptoms of this illness include:
- Body aches
- Chills and sweats
- Dry, persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Tiredness and weakness
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Eye pain
- The flu is often not life-threatening. However, complications can have fatal effects on some groups of people. These include:
- Children under the age of 5
- Senior citizens
- Pregnant women
Fighting the Flu
In most cases of the flu, you don’t need to go to the doctor. Here are some ways to fight the flu:
- Get the flu vaccine. Your best bet in protecting yourself and those around you from the flu is getting the flu vaccine. Getting a yearly flu shot minimizes your risk of developing a severe case of flu.
- Practice good hygiene by washing your hands often. It’s always a good idea to keep your hands clean. Droplets carrying the virus can stay on objects for a while. Be sure to wash your hands after touching door handles, handrails, money, and other public objects and surfaces. If you don’t have access to running water, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Keep your body fit and healthy. You can avoid getting complications from the flu by keeping fit and healthy. Be sure to get enough sleep, eat nutritious foods, and exercise.
- Drink lots of fluids. While it’s best to drink water, you can add variety to your fluid intake with fruit juices and energy drinks. It’s important to drink liquids to keep yourself hydrated. Adequate hydration helps turn the thick mucus in your system into a liquid that you can cough and spit out.
- Treat aches and pains with medication. When your body fights the flu, it can feel exhausting and even painful. Controlling your aches and fever can help with your comfort while you have the flu. You can take over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen.
- Run a humidifier or sit in a steamy bathroom. Humid environments can help ease the congestion of mucus in your lungs and ease coughing.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. It’s important to keep those around you safe when you have the flu because it’s highly contagious. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing to avoid spreading the virus.
- Take lozenges. You can suck on lozenges to ease a sore throat.
- Use saline nose drops. Saline nose drops or sprays are available over the counter. They’re even safe for children. You can use saline drops to decongest your nose and blow out mucus.
- Take antiviral medicine. Antivirals can lessen and shorten the flu, and you can take these as soon as symptoms manifest.
Remember, stay home if you have the flu. Symptoms of the flu are likely to make you feel fatigued and in pain, so it’s better to stay home and recuperate properly.
Treating the Flu in Fairless Hills, PA
Battling the flu can be a hassle. Luckily, there are many ways to control symptoms and even prevent yourself from contracting the disease. However, when home remedies aren’t enough, it’s best to consult a doctor. After all, expert care is the most important when dealing with any sickness.
You don’t need to look far if you need a medical center specializing in adult urgent care in Fairless Hills. Here at Patient Care Now, we’re ready to help you with any healthcare concerns you may have. Our urgent care physicians include Dr. Kendel Kiwell, Dr. Andrew Ball, Dr. Dominic Ruocco, and Dr. Alvaro Alban.
Open all year round, Patient Care Now is located at 541 S Oxford Valley Rd, Fairless Hills, PA 19030. You may contact us at (267) 202-6433 with any questions. No appointments are necessary, so just walk in whenever you like!
We look forward to providing you with the highest quality urgent care!