Influenza: 5 Treatment Tips from an Urgent Care Center

Although the best and most effective way to prevent influenza is getting the universal flu shot, no one is entirely safe. It is therefore vital for everyone to obtain adequate information on how to treat and fight the illness. 

Commonly called “the flu,” this sickness is caused by virus strains, each with distinct characteristics. The most popular strain this year is H3N2, although the H1N1 “swine flu” is still rampant. Fortunately, the flu vaccines developed this year are effective against four strains of the flu virus, including the strains similar to H1N1.

If you have been infected, you will experience symptoms such as fever, cough, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, muscle or body pain, vomiting, fatigue and diarrhea (common among children). Although these symptoms are identical to those of the common cold, look out for the combination of fever, muscle pains and cough. The following are useful treatment tips for influenza:

Stay at home

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients are usually contagious a day before the symptoms become apparent and a minimum of five days after infection. If you are not entirely well, stay indoors so you do not infect others. For the sake of the people around you, avoid sharing hand towels, as a single exposure is enough to infect someone else.

Get an antiviral drug

If you come down with a sickness and want more significant relief than ginger ale can offer, contact your doctor to get a prescription for an antiviral medication. The medicine will alleviate the symptoms and avert flu-related conditions such as pneumonia. Although they are more effective within the first two days of infection, you will still find some relief.

If you have an infected partner or roommate, you can reach out to the doctor for advice; taking an antiviral drug may significantly reduce your chances of getting infected.

Take a pain reliever

You can get over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) to alleviate the fever.

Get sufficient rest

Failure to get enough sleep can weaken your body's immunity, and this does not help with recovery if you are already infected. Try to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep per night to strengthen your body against the sickness.

Drink plenty of fluids

Fever, excessive sweating and vomiting will leave you dehydrated. Try to take plenty of fluids, including warm drinks. Water or tea is excellent, but if you are vomiting or have an intense fever, a wiser decision would be to restore your body’s electrolytes with a sports drink or electrolyte-boosting drink like Pedialyte.

Other tips

Do not forget to keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers close by or warm soap and water to clean your hands of germs. While the sanitizer is still on your hands, use it on the doorknob or other surfaces to eliminate germs.

If your symptoms continue or worsen, you need to see a doctor. If you are not sure of your health condition, it is wise to contact a medical expert. This will help prevent any possible complications.

Are you considering influenza treatment in the St. Augustine area? Get more influenza information at

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