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Home Remedies: Fighting the flu

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Influenza (flu) viruses travel through the air in droplets when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes or talks. You can inhale the droplets directly, or you can pick up the germs by touching an object where the droplets have landed, such as a telephone or computer.

Flu
Image: Mayo Clinic

Initially, the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. But colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on suddenly. And although a cold can be a nuisance, you usually feel much worse with the flu.

Symptoms

Initially, the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. But colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on suddenly. And although a cold can be a nuisance, you usually feel much worse with the flu.

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever over 100.4 F (38 C)
  • Aching muscles, especially in your back, arms and legs
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea and vomiting in children

Lifestyle and home remedies

fluIf you do come down with the flu, these measures may help ease your symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of liquids. Choose water, juice and warm soups to prevent dehydration. Drink enough so that your urine is clear or pale yellow.
  • Rest. Get more sleep to help your immune system fight infection.
  • Try chicken soup. It’s not just good for the soul. It’s thought that chicken soup can help break up sinus congestion.
  • Consider pain relievers. Use an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), to combat the achiness associated with influenza. Remember pain relievers may make you feel more comfortable. but they won’t make your symptoms go away any faster. They may also have side effects. Don’t give aspirin to children or teens because of the risk of Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal condition.

Mayo Clinic.org excerpt posted on SouthFloridaReporter.com, Feb. 27, 2017