• Spot the Signs of the Flu and Beat the Bug!

    October 11, 2016

    The flu can knock you off your feet. But knowing how to pamper yourself can help you feel better faster.

    The following symptoms pack a powerful punch but usually clear up within two weeks. If symptoms linger or worsen, call your doctor.

    • A fever between 102 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit that lasts three days

    • Muscle aches and pains

    • Extreme fatigue

    • Headache

    • Chest discomfort

    Other symptoms include a cough, stuffy nose, sore throat, and sneezing. Children may experience nausea and vomiting.


    Comfort Measures

    The best thing you can do when you have the flu is take good care of yourself. Try these comfort measures:

    • Eat well and drink lots of fluids, such as water, soup, and caffeine-free beverages.

    • Get plenty of rest.

    • Consider over-the-counter medications. For example, nasal decongestants can help unclog a stuffy nose, and antihistamines stop sneezing. Acetaminophen can tackle a fever and minor aches.


    A Shot in the Arm

    An annual flu shot can greatly lower your chance of getting the flu. And, if you get the flu despite vaccination, it's often a milder case.

    There are typically two options for the flu vaccine: the traditional flu shot and a nasal spray. For the 2016-2017 flu season, the CDC has deemed the nasal spray ineffective. Your best bet is to get the traditional flu shot.

    The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for all people ages 6 months and older.


    Steer Clear of the Flu

    These strategies also can help you dodge the flu:

    • Frequently wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 15 seconds.

    • Disinfect telephones, doorknobs, keyboards, and other items touched by people who have the flu.

    • Make sure that people with the flu blow their noses in disposable tissue and discard it right away.