Flu Season is Back: How to Attack

Flu Season is Back: How to Attack

Even though December brings holiday cheer, it also sadly brings influenza. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 9 million people get affected by the flu each year. 

To properly understand how to fight and avoid the flu, we first have to know what exactly the flu is. Influenza or the flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses infecting the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Less often, a person might get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. Symptoms of the flu include tiredness or weakness, chills, fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, loss of appetite, body aches, headaches, and can include nausea and vomiting. 

Now that you know what the flu is and what the symptoms are, let’s talk about the do’s and don’ts if you happen to contract the flu. DO drink a lot of fluids to stay hydrated and get tons of rest. DON’T go to work or school if you think or know that you are infected, you do not want to spread it to anyone else, and whatever you are working on will always be there when you get back. DO try to distance yourself from friends and family. If you must see them, wear a face covering. DON’T ignore your body’s needs– if you do not feel good do not push yourself to do something you may not be able to do. One thing to note is that if symptoms and pain do not go away after 7 days, it is highly recommended that you see a healthcare provider immediately. 

Although having the flu is very uncomfortable and painful, there are some short-term solutions that can help. Some examples are Ibuprofen or Advil which will not cure it; however, they can help subside the pain. Others are cough drops, hot showers, and gargling salt water- these will help with throat aches, and body aches and help clear sinuses.

Another solution that always helps cure illness is food! There’s nothing like a good soup or tea when you are sick. Soups are packed with a range of micronutrients including protein fiber, Vitamin C, amino acids, plus powerful antioxidants that help fight inflammation. Most soups contain all those things, but some of the classics that taste the best and help the most are– comforting chicken noodle, tomato soup, and chicken enchilada soup. Also, a cup of tea a day helps keep one hydrated and tea is also packed with antioxidants. Tea helps alleviate headaches, chills, and muscle pains and soothes throat aches. Simple teas like green tea, ginger tea, and specialty cold care teas can be used. 

When you have flu, it becomes very limited what you can do and gets tiresome laying in your bed all day. It is important to try and get up to stretch your limbs because laying down for a long time can sometimes make symptoms worse. When you are not resting, having a movie marathon is always fun. You can finally watch that movie that you’ve been trying to watch for a long time! Lastly, reading a book is beneficial to keep the brain moving!

The most important thing to take away is that the flu can become fatal if not treated correctly. It is crucial that you take the steps needed to recover so it is possible to get back on your feet.