It’s all festive fun and games until the fall and winter seasons take a turn into flu season.
No one wants fever, aches, and pains to disrupt the holidays. So take action to avoid it this year by getting the facts about the flu! To keep Cabot and the surrounding communities healthy this year, we’re reviewing symptoms, prevention, and treatment for the influenza virus.
Flu vs. Cold
There’s a widely believed misconception that the flu is just a bad cold. Because both the flu and a cold share similar symptoms like a stuffy nose, cough, or a sore throat, they can easily be confused. However, symptoms of the influenza virus are much more severe and include muscle pains, fatigue, chills, headache, and high fever.
The most serious difference between the flu and a cold is the 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations caused by the flu each year in the United States.
Here are the most common differing signs of both:
Cold — Symptoms are mild, and the onset is gradual.
- Loss of appetite
- Sore throat
Flu — Symptoms are more severe, and the onset is sudden.
- Muscle pain
- High fever
If those symptoms and the thought of bedrest sound less than enjoyable to you, then it’s time to be proactive. The expression, “the best offense is a good defense,” couldn’t be more accurate when it comes to the flu.
Follow these 10 guidelines to avoid getting sick:
- Get a flu shot
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids
- Get enough restful sleep
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Strengthen your immune system by exercising regularly
- Eat vitamin-rich, healthy foods
- Avoid coming in contact with anyone who’s sick
- Steer clear of alcohol
- Keep your stress levels in check
If you try your best to stay healthy, and somehow the flu still finds you, follow these three tips for kicking the sickness:
Bed rest is critical for successfully fighting the flu. Not only will you avoid spreading the highly contagious illness to others, but your immune system will be better equipped to defeat the infection. Cozy up under a blanket, binge-watch your favorite TV shows, and nap often during this time.
Fluids are one of the strongest defenses in beating the flu, so keep the water, juice, and warm soup coming. It’s recommended to get at least 3-5 liters of (non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic) fluids per day when sick, so drink like your health depends on it!
Although overcoming the flu without medicine might be possible, why drag it out any longer than it needs to be? Taking medication can speed up the recovery process significantly, and help you get back to feeling 100 percent faster. Click here for a list of over the counter flu-fighting medications, or come see us at Cabot Emergency Hospital to be treated.
If you or a loved one are experiencing flu-like symptoms, Cabot Emergency Hospital is here to help. We provide flu testing, medication, and treatment so that you can get back to your A-game as soon as possible! Our doors are open 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. For the care you deserve, visit our facility, conveniently located on Willie Ray Drive.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Cabot Emergency Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.