Get the low down on all you need to know, from if you’ve got it, how to treat it and even better, how to prevent it.
So to begin, what is it?
Officially known as influenza, the flu is an highly infectious virus, which leaves you feeling under the weather and very weak for up to 7 days and in some cases even longer! Although they are sometimes presumed to be the same thing, the symptoms of the flu are far more serious than the sneezes and stuffy nose you tend to get with just the common cold. You can catch it from even just touching somewhere that the flu virus has landed, including breathing in virus filled droplets, floating round the air after someone infected has sneezed or coughed.
Flu symptoms tend come on thick and fast. They can include:
A runny or stuffy nose,
And in extreme cases they can also include nausea and vomiting.
Generally, the symptoms should have subsided after about 1 week, but it’s worth noting that even after your fever and aches have gone, you can still feel drained for a number of weeks.
The best thing for you is to take it easy with lots of sleep and rest.
Avoid dehydration with plenty of clear liquids, such as water, broth and sports drinks for energy.
Saline spray is a great, natural way to un-stuff your nose and gargling salt water will help ease your sore throat.
Pain medicine, like ibuprofen or paracetamol should help reduce any fever or body aches you’re having
And decongestant and cough medicine will help relief a cough or cold symptoms.
If are unsure on chosen medicines to take, always check with a doctor or pharmacist, such as the ones available at Doc-OneStop, first.
Although most people recover with no problems, having flu does heighten you chance of getting other illnesses like sinus, throat, chest and ear infections, especially if you already suffer with asthma or other underlying conditions.
If you’re concerned and think this might be relevant to you, Doc-OneStop’s Test and Treat service will be able to help. Offering walk in appointments for cases, such as this, you can have your infections tested and receive appropriate treatment, including antibiotics if necessary, within 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, there is no real way to protect yourself from catching the flu; all the hard work sits with protecting others.
If you do catch the flu, it is best to stay away from others, catch all sneezes and coughs in a tissue and bin immediately, and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water to kill the virus before it to be passed on to anyone else.