By Richard Ferri
January is the height of the good old regular flu season, and getting a seasonal flu vaccine is still a good idea–unless, of course, you are one of the 10 percent of Americans who get infected with influenza annually and already are in the grips of flu syndrome.
Read on to get a better understanding of the basics of surviving influenza. Remember, the common use of the term “flu” normally means a really bad cold, but infection with a virus that causes influenza is serious. So far, the 2009 influenza outbreak has killed 36,000 people, and the 2010 flu season still has months to go.
Things You’ll Need:
- The tincture of time
- Meds as prescribed by your health care provider
- Rest, fluids and some common sense
Assess your underlying risk factors. Do you have a chronic medical condition such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or immune dysfunction? Do you smoke or drink alcohol in excess? Increased risk factors make you more prone to acquiring any strain of influenza. Check with your health care provider for any special considerations related to your risk factors.
OK, the prevention part of this article is over. See Resources below for links to other flu prevention articles. Now let’s get to the How To of getting better!
Follow your health care provider’s instructions for coping with the flu, which usually consists of the very basics of rest, hydration with clear fluids, fever and pain management, and staying away from others.
The general rule with fever and flu to help stop spreading the virus is to “socially isolate” yourself for an additional 24 hours AFTER your temperature has normalized.
Also follow your provider’s instructions on taking any prescription medications.
Wash your hands! Wash your hands! Wash your hands!
Many respiratory viruses are very hardy and can linger on surfaces for hours or even days.
Cough and deep breathe to clear your lungs at least four times a day. If coughing becomes uncomfortable you should hold a pillow or a rolled-up towel against any part of your chest that becomes more painful with your breathing exercises. This method, referred to as “therapeutic splinting,” will ease the pain and allow for deeper inspirations.
When your body announces it needs food, start slowly. Do not jump into the “steak and potatoes,” but gradually reintroduce soft, easy-to-digest foods and increase as tolerated.
When you are ready to return to work or your regular activities, consider a few days of part-time hours to give your body time to readjust. Tell your boss that this gradual return is in the best interest of the company, because it is!
Returning back to work prematurely or at full throttle can cause a very unwelcome relapse, which will damage your body, not to mention annoy your fellow workers.
Medical information in this article is for educational purposes only. All medical conditions can only be diagnosed and treated by a qualified health care provider.
The Editor’s Review:
People and especially children carelessly leave the virus on surfaces and in the air. Take extra precautions around the home by disinfecting everything the hands touch. Refrigerator handles, keyboards, car door handles, inside and out, just to name a few. Also, open the windows and aerate.
Plus, if you really want to prevent colds and flu it will take a little more effort.
1. boost your immune system with exercise, be fit.
2. eat healthier (no processed foods and avoid dairy),
3. don’t take drugs,
4. don’t touch anything in public (door handles, elevator buttons etc…),
5. take your vitamins!!! multivitamins all the time, plus extra C, E, zinc, and olive leaf extract if you think you’ve been exposed to someone sick or feel like your going to get something….
6. drink tons of water and green tea,
7. get plenty of sleep,
8. try to de-stress – meditate…