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Flu Season Is Here: Some Tips For Managing Fever And Pain

Along with the monsoon season comes the flu, and this time, the flu season is a bit different in comparison to any other. Experts warn that due to the continued prevalence of the Covid-19 disease, there is a heightened need to safeguard one against any health complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people over six months old get a flu vaccine and continue to practice social distancing and handwashing [1]. In India, reports suggest a clear spike in fever and flu during monsoons and winter; especially during September to November [2].

Seasonal flu (or influenza) can cause fever, cough (usually dry), headache, muscle and joint pain, severe malaise, sore throat, and a runny nose [3]. Most cases of seasonal flu and fever can be managed with timely care and proper medication.

Coming down with the flu can be miserable, no doubt in that. So, we have gathered a list of tips that can help you on the road to recovery.

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Tips To Manage Fever And Pain

(1) Stay home and take rest: It is crucial that you let your body give time to fight off the virus, meaning, rest is essential. In addition to helping you recover sooner, staying home can help prevent the spread of the flu as you are avoiding contact with anyone [4].

(2) Drink water (hot fluids): Hydration is necessary. Flu can cause you to sweat heavily, resulting in water-loss from your body [5]. Your body needs plenty of fluids to replace lost liquids and fight off the infection. Apart from fresh, warm water, you can also try herbal teas, black tea with honey and ginger etc.

Health Benefits Of Drinking Warm Water

(3) Eat healthy: This is a given on any typical day, but when you are sick and down the flu - what you eat matter a bit more. You need to eat fresh fruits and vegetables that provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which in turn help that strengthen your immune system and fights off the virus [6][7].

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(4) Sleep, and more sleep: Simply the best medicine to deal with pain and fever. Sleeping as much as possible can help your body gain the energy required to fight off the virus [8]. While slouching in front of the laptop sounds tempting, your bed should be your friend when you are fighting off the flu.

(5) Ease your cough: One of the most irritating symptoms of flu is dry coughs. Honey is the most effective and common natural remedy for soothing a sore throat or cough. So, have a spoonful of honey with your tea or with warm water for relief from that cough [9].

(6) Stay cool: Let your body breathe, so choose to wear light clothing and keep the room temperature cool. Keep the windows open while sleeping, but if it is too cold, wear a sweater and socks to avoid chills.

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(7) Unblock the nose: Another common issue with seasonal fevers is the blocked nose. Not only does it make it difficult for you to breathe properly, but a blocked nose can also interfere with your sleep. You can use a pillow to prop up your head, and ease sinus pressure, sleep with a humidifier in the room or take a hot shower before bed [10].

(8) Take medications: If you are having only mild symptoms, taking over-the-counter medications can help provide relief from the flu symptoms [11]. Pain relievers, decongestants, cough syrups etc. can help manage the specific symptoms. If you have any doubts regarding the medicines, do make it a point to ask about it at the medical shop.

Some other tips for managing fever and pain are as follows:

• Get a flu shot

• Try saline nasal drops

• Try elderberry supplements (used for hundreds of years in the treatment of colds and the flu)

• Ask your doctor about antiviral medicines

• Try lozenges for throat irritation

Note: If you start having any of the following symptoms, go to a doctor immediately:

• Earache

• Severe pain in the face and forehead

• Hoarseness, sore throat, or a constant cough

• Shortness of breath and wheezing

• Vomiting

• High temperature

Note: Do not take antibiotics for the flu. Antibiotics work against infections caused by bacteria and flu is a viral infection.

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On A Final Note…

While most cases of seasonal flu or influenza are mild, which get better without medical treatment, practising precautionary steps can help reduce your chances of getting a fever. However, if you do develop a fever, do not worry - stay home and take rest.

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