The Most Important Thing(s) You Can Do When You Get the Flu

The Most Important Thing(s) You Can Do When You Get the Flu

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Somehow, it happened.  No matter all the things you did to prevent it…

  • Received the flu vaccine. 
  • Practiced excellent hand hygiene and stayed away from sick contacts. 
  • Ate a balanced, healthy diet high in antioxidants and probiotics. 
  • Drank plenty of fluids and got plenty of rest. 

You might think to yourself, “How did I get the flu?! I did everything right!”  Unfortunately, in rare circumstances, you can still come down with the flu in the face of the best personal health practices.  The flu is unwieldy and at times can take down the best defenses.  Don’t be discouraged though, know that living a healthy life up until you get the flu puts you in the best position to fight it off.  If you weren’t able to incorporate all the lifestyle behaviors above prior to getting the flu, that is okay too.  If you come down with the flu, here are a few recommendations to help get back on your feet as quickly as possible!

  • Rest does the body good!  When you come down with the flu, your immune system activates and works very diligently to fight it off.  This process consumes a lot of energy!  It is super important to take it easy when you are ill, this allows the immune system to have minimal distractions and most efficiently fight off the illness.
  • Hydrate and eat nutritiously!  Your body is working hard to fight off the flu – give it the fluid and nutrients it needs as fuel.  It is especially important to drink plenty of fluids if you have a fever.  Shoot for at least 2 liters of water per day, more if you are running a fever. 
  • Stay home and away from others.  It is especially important to avoid contact with those who can have very severe complications if they contract the flu.  These groups include, but are not limited to, the elderly, young children, and pregnant women.  The exception to this principle is if you need medical care.  Otherwise, get yourself nice and comfy at home in a separate location from your household contacts.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone to prevent spreading the infection to others1.  For more information about when to seek medical care, visit the CDC website.
  • Treat your symptoms.  The flu is caused by a virus, meaning for most people, it will likely go away on its own with time and rest. There are many over-the-counter (OTC) medications and treatments that can help you feel more comfortable as your body does the hard work of getting rid of the flu.  Talk with one of our expert healthcare practitioners at the pharmacy or clinic to find out what OTC treatments are best for you.  They can provide a personalized and safe recommendation based on your health history, ensuring there are no interactions with any other medications you may take.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2019).  Flu: What to do if you get sick.  Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/treatment/takingcare.htm

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

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