Fighting the Flu this Fall
With the fall comes the flu season, and it is nothing to sneeze at. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 42 million flu cases were reported last year, which turned out to be the longest flu season in a decade. At Physicians Premier, your ER in San Antonio, we often get the most flu cases when late fall rolls around.
The flu is caused by the influenza virus and is a very contagious respiratory infection. The symptoms usually last for a week, with the most serious symptoms occurring for 2-3 days. After recovering, you might still continue to experience weakness, fatigue, and coughing for another week. It can be a mild illness for some, but for older people, and for those who have health concerns such as heart disease or diabetes, the flu can be a very serious or life-threatening condition.
Here are some helpful tips to help you recover from flu faster.
Those who have flu often have a high fever, which can lead to sweating. You might also experience diarrhea and vomiting, so your body needs to replenish lost fluids to help fight the infection.
Drink plenty of water; herbal teas with honey can also help. Avoid caffeine and alcohol during this time.
2. Get adequate sleep
This is the best medicine to help you fight the flu. Sleep in, or go to bed earlier than usual. To give your body more time to recover, take some naps during daytime. Sleeping and resting will help reduce your risk for serious complications such as pneumonia.
3. Eat healthy foods
Strengthen your immune system by giving your body important antioxidants, vitamins and minerals through fresh fruits and vegetables. You may not have much of an appetite, but you need to eat meals regularly to maintain your strength.
4. Add moisture to the air
Dry air can worsen flu symptoms. A humidifier or vaporizer can help loosen up congestion by adding moisture to the air.
5. Take over-the-counter medications
There are many options in your local drug store. They target specific symptoms, such as nasal congestion.
- Decongestants help relieve pressure in your sinuses and help open up nasal passages.
- Pain relievers help reduce headaches, fever, and muscle pains.
- Expectorants are useful for a cough that produces mucous.
- Cough suppressants help soothe a dry cough.
The flu vaccine is still your best bet in fighting flu. You should get one as soon as it becomes available. Getting a flu shot can lower your risk of complications even if you do get sick. If your flu symptoms get rapidly worse or don’t resolve after a week or two, don’t hesitate to come to us at Physicians Premier, your San Antonio, TX Emergency Room. We are open 24 hours for the community!