Flu Recovery

6 Tips for Faster Flu Recovery


Flu is a limiting viral disease. Its signs and symptoms could range from mild respiratory symptoms to severe body malaise that could make you incapable of attending to your daily routines. With flu season drawing near, you need to arm yourself with the following tips to help you recover from flu faster.

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What is Flu?

Flu, or influenza, is an infectious disease spread through airborne transmission. Although it is one of the most common infectious diseases, some types are seasonal and typically spread around late fall and winter.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the peak season of flu in the United States occurs from late November all the way through March. An estimated 20,000 deaths per year are attributed to flu, with elderly people and infants comprising the majority of those mortality statistics.

Types of Flu Viruses

There are 4 major types of viruses that cause influenza.

  • Human Influenza A and B viruses are the culprits for the seasonal influenza outbreaks that happen every winter in the United States.
  • Influenza type C viruses only cause mild signs and symptoms of respiratory disease and body malaise. However, they don’t cause epidemics unlike those of A and B.
  • Influenza type D viruses infect cattle. There are no reports of human infection.

Any mutation of the virus is likely to cause a pandemic since influenza is highly infectious and could spread fast due to its airborne mode of transmission.

Do You Have It?

Although the signs and symptoms may vary depending on the type of virus and on the immunity of the individual, the following are still commonly present:

  • A headache (usually in the forehead or around the eyes)
  • Fever or chills (not everyone presents with fever, others might only complain of feeling feverish)
  • Sore throat
  • Pain all over the body
  • A cough and runny nose
  • Severe Fatigue
  • Fast heart rate
  • Red, glassy eyes
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (common in children and elderly people)

Tips to Recover From Flu

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Aside from religiously taking the medicines prescribed by your doctor, observing the following tips could help in your recovery:

  • Gargling with warm salt water helps relieve discomfort by reducing the swelling in your throat. Prepare your gargle solution by adding 1 teaspoon of salt in one glass of warm water. It is recommended that you gargle this solution at least once every hour.
  • Give your body time to rest. When you are sick, your body’s defenses are busy fighting the foreign pathogens. Your body needs the energy to sustain this process so rest as much as you can.
  • Getting a good night’s sleep when you are sick is hard but sleep is necessary for faster recovery. Research shows that sleep has a strong influence in regulating your body’s immune response. Being sick in bed doesn’t mean that you can’t be comfortable. Overbed tables offer convenience by keeping your water, medicines, and other items within reach. Read more here.
  • Eat healthy foods. You might not have much appetite when you are sick, however, you have to remember that your body is trying to fight off a serious infection. Eating healthy and energy-giving foods will deliver vital nutrients to your body to help speed up recovery.
  • Drinking lots of fluids could help in relieving nasal congestion and sore throat. When you have a fever, your brain activates the sweat glands in your skin in an effort to regulate your body’s core temperature. Evaporation of your sweat to the environment could release some of the heat; unfortunately, this process makes you lose fluids as well so replacing them is a must.
  • A hot shower produces steam that could help relieve your nasal congestion. Gently blow your nose while you’re in the shower. General body pains and aching muscles could also be relieved by the hot temperature, making your body more relaxed.

Minimizing the Spread of the Disease

Certain safety precautions must be observed to prevent the spread of the disease to your family or friends:

  • Limit your contact with other people. Take a break from work or from class until you have fully recovered. The CDC says that even if you no longer have a fever, you need to stay at home for at least 24 hours following the relief of symptoms.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue properly. Remember that flu is spread through airborne transmission.
  • Wash your hands regularly. Hand washing is the simplest way to combat the spread of diseases and cross contamination.

Observing these tips and precautions could help you recover from flu faster and limit the spread of infection. However, if your signs and symptoms are not relieved within a week of adherence to these tips and taking medications, you need to consult your doctor.

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