Seasonal flu progresses during the cold winter days. Many are “pinned” to their beds, which raises the question of how to help them, what is essential to know if we get the flu and how to care for a person that already got the flu. Here are the ten tips on how to prevent and treat seasonal flu.
Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease, mainly caused by a virus that is spread through droplets in the air, by coughing or sneezing of an infected person. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, and loss of appetite, muscle aches, runny nose, sore throat, and cough.
A person infected with the flu virus can easily infect others, so the first line of prevention of the spreading the infection is staying at home! Sleeping and resting are required for the body to recover from the exhausting disease.
Most people recover from the flu for a week, but in the elderly and those with asthma and heart or lung disease may occur complications in the form of bronchitis or pneumonia. Influenza does not require a visit to a doctor, but if the fever lasts more than four or five days, you will have to. A visit to the physician, in this case, is necessary to avoid complications or severe development of the disease. Conversely, a doctor’s visit is not required on the first day of illness. It is better to rest and apply standard treatments for influenza.
- Stay out of crowded indoor spaces. Sharing space with many people raises the risk of spreading infection. It is especially important if you have a weakened immune system.
- Keep distance from people who cough or sneeze, and avoid handshaking and kissing.
- Increase daily intake of fresh, healthy drinks that promote the immune system and contain medicinal ingredients such as honey, lemon, ginger, and Echinacea.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water and do not touch your face.
- Eat more raw fruits and vegetables and move to fresh air.
- Increase the intake of fluids and stay in bed. In the case of the seasonal flu, this is more important than the intake of large doses of vitamin C. Note, that large doses of vitamin C pills can increase the risk for kidney stones.
- Reduce the fever by drugs or cooling. If you don’t want to take drugs, you can try this herbal remedies:
- Sage tea: Sage has been proven in scientific studies to reduce fevers and night sweats.
- Onion poultice: Slice an onion and place it on your chest or put the slices on the soles of your feet and cover with socks. This makes an effective fever cooler.
- Apple Cider Vinegar has the similar effect: Massage your feet and put on socks soaked in apple cider vinegar.
- Cooling Tea: Place one-quarter ounce of peppermint leaves and one-quarter ounce of elderflowers in a glass container. Boil two cups of water and pour over the herbs. Cover and steep for 20 min. Sweeten with honey. Strain and drink, then rest in bed or better, go to sleep.
- A sore throat involves irritation and pain that can make it hard to swallow. You can lessen the symptoms by taking propolis spray or sage gargle. At the first sign of a sore throat, you can also use a lemon and salt gargle which will hopefully kill the virus before it spreads. However, it will probably act most effectively to draw out impurities and as an anesthetic.
- Lemon and salt gargle: Put two tablespoons of salt and one freshly squeezed lemon in a cup. Fill the cup with lukewarm water. Gargle this mixture frequently.
- Avoid any serious physical activity, and stay in bed.
- Avoid dairy products because they increase mucus creation in the body that can further enhance a cough.
Care of a family member
If you need to take care of a family member that has the flu, you should take precautions to protect yourself: often ventilate the room where the patient resides, and wear a protective mask. Also, it is desirable to provide a separate space in the house and keep healthy members of your family at a safe distance.
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