This time of year brings on runny noses, scratchy throats, coughs and body aches of the seasonal flu.
Recognizing the symptoms early on and knowing what to do if you get sick will help you get back on your feet much quicker. Here are some answers to your frequently asked questions about the flu:
What are some symptoms?
Symptoms usually start 1 to 4 days after exposure to the virus. In most adults, the flu lasts 2 to 10 days. It sometimes lasts longer for the elderly, children and people with chronic illnesses.
You may have the flu if you experience:
- runny eyes
- stuffy nose
- sore throat
- muscle aches
- extreme weakness and tiredness
- some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
What can I do if I get sick?
If infected, be sure to:
- stay home and get plenty of rest
- drink lots of fluids
- avoid drinks with caffeine
- take basic pain or fever relievers
- treat muscle pain using a hot water bottle or heating pad — apply heat for short periods of time
- take a warm bath
- gargle with a glass of warm salt water or suck on hard candy or lozenges
- use spray or saline drops for a stuffy nose
- avoid alcohol and tobacco
Still not feeling better? You may need to call your doctor or health care provider if:
- you don’t start to feel better after a few days
- your symptoms get worse
- you are in a high-risk group and develop flu symptoms