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How to Get Rid of the Flu Fast

Updated on October 16, 2013

Fighting the Flu

Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a respiratory tract infection which is caused by the Influenza virus. The flu is stubbornly persistent, making its presence felt by millions of people worldwide especially during the winter season. It can make you feel very sick and leaves you coughing, sneezing, and wanting to stay in bed the whole day.

While the flu seems like just another mild illness to deal with, you should take it seriously. It can lead to more serious diseases such as pneumonia, dehydration, and sinus problems. Millions of people die each year because of the flu.

Before you find out how to get rid of the flu fast, let us get to know this dreaded disease a bit more.

Flu Symptoms

Symptoms usually begin 2 days after catching the virus. The following are the common flu symptoms:

Man getting the flu vaccine.
Man getting the flu vaccine.
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Muscle pain
  • Runny nose
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Sore throat
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite

Flu Vaccine

One way to prevent the flu is to take a flu vaccine at the beginning of each flu season (October-November). This is recommended for those who are 6 months or older. The flu vaccine reduces the chances of a person getting the flu by up to 80%.

In cases where the flu is uncomplicated, medical treatment is unnecessary. In fact, treating the flu is simpler than you might think. The following are at-home tips on how to get rid of the flu.

How to Get Rid of the Flu Fast

1. Treat the symptoms.

As you can see above, the flu leaves you with a lot of symptoms you have to deal with. The key to relieve discomfort when you have the flu is to treat these symptoms. Of course, it can vary from person to person. Find out if you have any of the symptoms and treat it accordingly.

2. Drink plenty of liquids.

Some of the flu symptoms, especially fever, can lead to dehydration. Always make sure that you drink plenty of liquids whether or not you have the flu. For children, you can give them ice pops and soft fruits if they find it difficult to drink a lot of water. Keeping yourself hydrated makes your cells function properly and helps flush out toxins from your body.

3. Have a lot of rest.

If you have the flu, avoid doing tiring activities and just allow your body to rest. Don’t force yourself to go to work or school. Staying in bed is the best way to get rid of the flu fast as it gives your body more energy to fight the virus.

4. Take over-the-counter medications.

If you are troubled with aches and pains, try over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Do not give aspirin to kids as it can cause a rare and serious disease known as Reye’s syndrome.

5. Lift your spirits.

Sounds odd? Maybe, but this is an effective, but often neglected way of beating the flu. Keeping a positive outlook and wearing a smile – no matter how difficult to do when you are sick – can actually help treat the flu and make you feel better.

Man wearing a face mask to prevent catching the swine flu.
Man wearing a face mask to prevent catching the swine flu. | Source

How to Prevent the Flu from Spreading

The flu is highly contagious. Remember the flu pandemic back in 2009? Who wants to wear face masks 24/7 and feel afraid of going out for fear of catching the virus? No one wants a repeat of the H1N1 pandemic. It is important to do your part and learn how to prevent the flu from spreading.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water. Do this especially after coughing or sneezing, and before eating.
  • Avoid sharing cups and utensils. Your family is no exception. It is best to avoid sharing utensils to prevent possible spreading of the virus.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw it in the trash. Don’t just throw the tissue on the street; someone, especially kids, might pick it up and catch the virus.
  • Stay at home. If you have the flu, just stay at home and rest until the flu is gone. Going outside can expose others to the virus and won't do you any good when trying to treat the flu.

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