The flu is a viral infection that affects the respiratory system. It causes a mild severe illness and sometimes can result to death. Flu is highly contagious and usually spread through coughing, sneezing of an infected person and also touching or shaking of hands. Adults are usually contagious in 1-2 days before the symptoms can be felt and up to 7 days after becoming ill.
Symptoms of flu
- A fever of 100 F or higher
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Sometimes there is vomiting and diarrhea which is common in children than adults.
- Take plenty of rest for fast healing of the condition. Take at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Keep the body warm by wearing a robe, staying covered with a blanket and using a portable heater. Raise the temperature of the body for fast healing of the condition.
- Install a humidifier inside the room to add moisture in the air which can lessen coughing and congestion. Another alternative is inhaling steam to loosen mucus and relieve dry nasal passages. Take a hot shower as hot that can be tolerated and inhale the steam from the hot shower. After taking the shower, dry thoroughly the body and hair to prevent the loss of body heat. Another alternative is filling a bowl with hot water and inhale the steam. Eucalyptus or peppermint can be added to the hot water to hasten the clearing of the congested sinus.
- Gargle salt water to relieve dry, tickly or sore throat which is a common symptom of flu. Make a solution by mixing a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm to hot water. A pinch of baking soda can be added to the solution to lessen saltiness. Mix well until salt and baking soda is totally dissolved and gargle the solution at least 4 times every day.
- Blow the nose as often as possible to get rid of excess mucus out of the sinuses and nasal passages when suffering from flu. Avoid inhaling back the mucus inside the nose to prevent sinus pressure and earaches.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter oral decongestants to reduce the size of swollen blood vessels in the nasal membranes and open them up. Take oral decongestants as instructed by the doctor and avoid them if suffering from high blood pressure.
- Take over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen to lessen the pain and fever.
- Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick with flu such as kissing and hugging.
- Avoid infected people who are sneezing or coughing
- Wash hands properly to prevent all kinds of infections. Carry a hand sanitizer when water is not available.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Eat foods rich in fruits and vegetables.
The details posted on this page on the flu is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage respiratory conditions including the flu enroll in a first aid course with one of our training providers.