Wellness Matters

Got the Flu? What to Do?

October 06, 2014

By: Layne Weaver, family nurse practitioner
LeBauer Primary Care, a Cone Health Medical Group affiliate. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that flu vaccinations are 52 percent effective. So, even with a flu shot, you may still get the flu. However, your symptoms will not be as bad and you will recover more quickly.

Flu symptoms
If you have any of the following symptoms for more than several days, call your health care provider:

  • A fever more than 100.4
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuff nose
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea and vomiting (more common in children)
Flu symptoms for babies and toddlers are slightly different:
  • Inconsolable
  • Decrease in wet diapers
  • Not eating or drinking
  • No tears when crying
  • Difficult to wake up
  • A fever for babies under three months old.

What should I do?

Here are five tips for battling the flu:
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Healthy people will beat the flu with rest and symptom management. Stay home and avoid contact with others until you have been without your fever for at least 24 hours.
  • See a health care provider in the first 48 hours. Children under 5 years old, seniors over 65 years old, and anyone at risk for complications, should see a health care provider in the first 48 hours. An antiviral may assist these patients in shortening the flu by one to two days and possibly prevent complications.
  • Create a sick room in your home for those with flu. Flu sufferers should wear a mask when coming out of the sick room. Clean surfaces often, including doorknobs, counter tops and faucet handles. Wash hands after touching linens and laundry, dishes and other belongings of those who have the flu.
  • Stay hydrated. Sip liquid every hour, eat popsicles, sip broths or soups. Do not rely on dark sodas; caffeinated teas, coffee and sodas; or alcoholic beverages as these liquids do not hydrate.
  • Use fever reducers. Tylenol or ibuprofen for fever, body aches, and headaches. Do not give children under 18 years old products with aspirin.

These basic precautions will allow for a speedy recovery and also prevent the spread of the flu to those around you.


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