When To See A Doctor
Most people who get the flu can treat themselves at home and often don’t need to see a doctor.
If you have flu symptoms and are at risk of complications, see your doctor right away. Taking antiviral drugs within the first 48 hours after you first notice symptoms may reduce the length of your illness and help prevent more-serious problems.
How Avian Flu Spreads From Birds To People
It is important not to confuse human cases of avian influenza with cases of human influenza. Human influenza is a common respiratory disease that spreads easily and rapidly from person to person. Although different strains of avian flu virus circulate year-round among birds, the virus does not usually spread to people.
The Asian strain of avian influenza H5N1 virus has been confirmed in poultry and wild birds in several countries in the following regions: Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. While this demonstrates the rapid and ongoing geographical spread of the virus, information to date has shown that the greatest risk to humans arises when the virus becomes established in small backyard poultry flocks, which allow continuing opportunities for close human contact, exposures, and infections to occur. The scientific evidence to date shows that avian flu virus does not spread easily or rapidly from one person to another.
When Should I Call My Doctor
Influenza follows a steady course. It begins quickly and then improves slowly over time. If you take a turn for the worse, you should call your doctor. Bacterial pneumonia happens easily in people who have the flu, and it can be quite dangerous.
If you are an adult with flu symptoms, it is worth talking to your doctor if you have a fever that lasts longer than a week or a cough that lasts longer than 2 weeks. In addition, you should let your doctor know if you are having trouble staying hydrated or if your muscle pain is severe.
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Gargle For A Sore Throat
It can moisten a flaming throat and bring short-term relief. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in warm water and gargle with this mix four times a day.
You can also try a thick mix made with honey, a popular folk treatment. Steep 1 tablespoon of raspberry leaves or lemon juice in 2 cups of hot water mix with 1 teaspoon of honey. Let the liquid cool to room temperature before you gargle.
When You Dont Need To Break A Fever
Doctors and scientists now realize that fever is the immune systems natural response to infections and that most low grade fevers arent something to worry about.
Professor John Wherry, Ph.D., published his findings in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology into the connection of fever and the immune system. He said that the immune system is actually boosted when our body temperature rises. He added that it is, of course, very important to manage very high body temperatures because they can be dangerous. However, he encouraged people to rethink how they manage most mild fevers.2
Actually, taking medications to reduce mild fevers can actually make you ill longer. The University of Maryland carried out research on patients who had the flu and took anti-fever medications. They discovered that although the anti-fever drugs helped a person feel better quicker, the patients were ill longer.3 Other studies have calculated that fever suppression actually increases the annual cases of flu by about 5%.4
That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that when trying to break a fever you should focus on improving the childs overall comfort rather than normalizing the body temperature.5
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These Remedies Should Help You Beat A Cold Fast
This winter, coughs and sneezes have been rife as we’ve been exposed to fewer colds and viruses over the past two years, and our immune systems have become a little slack. This might prompt us to frantically Google: ‘What’s the difference between a cold and coronavirus?’
The two viruses share similar symptoms fever, chills, body aches, and a cough. While you may feel miserable when you have a cold, the symptoms are usually mild compared to more aggressive viruses like the flu or coronavirus.
If you find yourself suffering from a cold, don’t despair – colds don’t have to last as long as you think they do. Here, nutritionist Sarah Flower shares her top tips for getting rid of a cold in 24 hours.
Fever In Infants And Children
Usually a fever is of most concern with infants and children.
Children may show accompanying symptoms, such as lethargy, fussiness, poor appetite, sore throat, cough, ear pain, vomiting and diarrhea which are important to relay to your doctor.
Its normal for any parent to worry when his or her baby has a fever, especially the first fever. But a fever isnt always dangerous for babies and children. According to University of Utah Health, Most fevers between 100 and 104 are okay for sick kids.
A child technically has a slight fever when their temperature is at or above one of these levels: 100.4°F measured in the bottom 99.5°F measured in the mouth 99°F measured under the arm . An adult probably has a fever when the temperature is above 9999.5°F , depending on the time of day.
Even though many older infants develop high fevers with minor illnesses, if a newborn has a fever higher than 100.4 °F, when taken rectally, you should consider talking to your childs doctor.
How can you reduce a fever in your child naturally? Some of the ways to reduce fever in adults may not be appropriate for babies and children. Experts recommend waiting observing your childs symptoms and only heading to the doctor if they seem very uncomfortable. Usually fevers only last two or three days with most viral illnesses. If they last longer, get your doctors help. In the mean time, give your child time to rest, plenty of fluids, and Tylenol and Motrin if they seem uncomfortable.
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Fighting The Flu At Home
The note that some of the most important ways of fighting the flu at home include:
- getting lots of rest
- drinking plenty of fluids, including juices and water
- taking acetaminophen or other over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce fever
- avoiding smoking or being around people who are smoking
- avoiding drinking alcohol while sick
Some additional ways to reduce flu symptoms include:
- taking a warm bath with Epsom salt or baking soda to relieve aches
- using a humidifier to add moisture to the air
- applying a vapor rub to the chest, for adults
- using a saltwater gargle
- trying supplements, such as vitamin C, probiotics, or echinacea
According to a 2014 review , honey could also help with symptoms. Researchers found three studies providing evidence that taking honey right before bed can ease symptoms, such as a cough, in children.
Another study from 2014 found that taking zinc can help with flu symptoms by preventing the virus from rapidly spreading, reducing the duration of illness. However, there is not enough evidence to support routine or high dosages of zinc to prevent the flu.
Most people do not need to see a doctor for symptoms of the flu.
However, anyone at risk of serious health complications should talk to their doctor if they develop symptoms. They may also wish to do this if there is a local flu outbreak in the area.
- kidney, liver, or metabolic disorders
- weakened immune system
- blood disorders
Concerns About A Possible Influenza Pandemic Related To Avian Flu
As noted earlier, the avian flu virus does not spread easily or rapidly among humans. However, flu viruses have the capacity to mingle with one another and morph into a new strain. This is one of the reasons that health officials keep such a close watch on outbreaks of avian flu. If someone with human influenza also becomes infected with avian influenza, there is a chance that the viruses could mingle and turn into a new virus that spreads easily from person to person. This could lead to a worldwide epidemic of influenza. No one would have immunity to the new virus, and it would take four to six months to develop a new vaccine.
The World Health Organization has alerted countries about the need to intensify surveillance and implement control measures to contain outbreaks of avian flu. A standard control measure is to kill flocks of poultry that are infected or may have been exposed to avian flu. As a precautionary measure, the WHO has selected H5N1 prototype strains for influenza H5N1 pandemic vaccine development. Vaccine manufacturers and researchers are doing the foundation work that is necessary to develop a pandemic vaccine, but an actual vaccine against a pandemic cannot be manufactured until the virus has emerged. The WHO and has encouraged vaccine manufacturers around the world to work with vaccine seed strains from pandemic-like influenza viruses, such as H5N1.
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Should I Treat Congestion
That stuffy nose is best treated mildly or not at all. A slows the flow to the blood vessels in your nose and throat. But often you want an increased blood flow because it warms the infected area and helps all that gunk clear the germs from your body.
One natural remedy is to drink more water. It makes mucus thinner and easier to get rid of when you cough or blow. Your sinuses drain better when youre not all dried out, and if the stuff in them is moving, its less likely to get infected.
People At Higher Risk From Flu
Anyone can get sick with flu, even healthy people, and serious problems related to flu can happen to anyone at any age, but some people are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions , pregnant people and children younger than 5 years, but especially those younger than 2 years old.
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Natural Ways To Beat The Cold & Flu Fast
Being sick once in a while is totally normal, or is it? Even though catching a cold or flu is avoidable most of the time, the majority of people out there will tell you sick days are just part of being human.
In reality, with the knowledge available to us today we should be getting sick far less often, but with the stress and pressure of modern society were getting sick seasonally as if its the trendy thing to do! Numerous fans of the Young and Raw have come to us over the past few weeks to ask for suggestions on how to kick their cold and flu quickly without taking cough syrup and chicken soup.
Have you ever noticed when you catch a cold, it manifests at the most inconvenient time? Likely youve been busy, rushing around to a job or other priority and maybe even stressed right out! Part of the reason we catch colds & flus is because our immune system is down . But did you know that stress has a negative impact on the immune system to?
Stress is no bueno my friend. When youre stressed, unhappy hormones are triggered to course through your system and throw you out of commission. If youre not eating healthfully and nourishing your body in the way it requires to function optimally, youre setting yourself up to be sick.
How Can I Break A Flu
Having a fever is the worstnot to mention, it can be quite dangerous if your temperature is high enough.
Unfortunately, having a fever is very common when dealing with the flu. Although this is the case, there are many things you can do at home that can help to break your fever and feel better!
Our AFC Urgent Care Fountain City shares these treatments and more information on the flu below, so keep reading!
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Cold And Flu Home Remedies
1. Drink, drink, drinkDrinking plenty of fluids may help break up congestion, moisten the throat, ease a dry cough and prevent dehydration.1-8It is important to stay hydrated, so drink plenty of fluids. Water, lemon water, coconut water, soft drinks or tea can help with rehydration.Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol as these can leave you dehydrated.4
2. Sip hot liquids
Hot liquids, such as tea with lemon, fruit juice or soup, not only helps to moisten and soothe the upper airways, but they may also have a psychological benefit by providing a feeling of comfort.3,5-8
3. Get some rest
Resting will help your body to fight the infection, so rest as long as you continue to feel tired and sleep as much as you can.2,7-8
4. Soothe and ease the symptoms
Colds often cause a sore or scratchy throat, and a saltwater gargle may be soothing.7,8
Sucking on a sweet pastille or lozenge may also provide some relief from sore throat or throat irritation.3-5 Avoid giving these to small children as they can be a choking hazard.
Saline nasal spray or drops can also help break up congestion in the nose and eliminate sticky mucus.4,7
5. Moisten the air
Although there is no clinical evidence to support the benefit of humidifying the air, there is no harm in trying.9 It is possible that dry air may further irritate a sore throat and you might want to use a cool-air humidifier or vaporizer to eliminate dry air, or sit for several minutes in a steamy bathroom.3-5,7.8
6. Avoid irritants
Risks: When To Call The Doctor About A Fever
Its important to know when you should call a doctor or get professional help for an adult or child who has a fever. Here are some things to look for:
- Listless or uncomfortable, even after the fever goes down
- Fever symptoms come back after they had gone away
- The child does not make tears when crying
- No urination in the past eight hours
- If a child is younger than age 3 months and has a rectal temperature of 100.4 °F or higher, is 312 months old and has a fever of 102.2 °F or higher, or is under age 2 and has a fever that lasts longer than 48 hours
- Anyone that has a fever over 105 °F , unless the fever comes down readily with treatment
- Has had fevers come and go for up to a week or more, even if theyre not very high
- Has other symptoms that suggest an illness may need to be treated, such as a sore throat, earache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or a cough
- Has a serious medical illness, such as a heart problem, sickle cell anemia, diabetes or cystic fibrosis
- Recently had an immunization
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When You First Get Sick
Most people will only have mild-to-moderate flu symptoms, and they may only experience some of the possible symptoms of the disease.
The CDC recommend that people who experience any flu symptoms should stay home and rest. They should only leave home to make necessary trips, such as to see their doctor or buy groceries.
Staying inside and resting will help the body fight off the virus. It will also reduce the risk of it spreading to other people.
A person should talk to a doctor as soon as possible after any signs of the flu occur. Doing this is particularly important for people at risk of complications, such as older adults and people who smoke.
The also recommend talking to a doctor about antiviral medication during a local flu outbreak. Antiviral medications can prevent severe symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness.
According to the NIH, an antiviral medication is most effective within the first 48 hours of developing symptoms. Therefore, it is best to talk to a doctor as soon as possible about these treatments.
A doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic if there is a risk of other bacterial infections, such as pneumonia.
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Since viruses can cause vomiting, diarrhea, fever and excessive mucus production, all of which can lead to significant fluid losses, its important to replenish these losses by staying hydrated while youre sick.
Especially if youre experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, drinking slow sips of electrolyte-rich fluid can not only prevent dehydration, but can also help to replace the electrolytes youve lost.
Its important to note that if you go more than eight hours without urinating, or if you have a headache, dizziness, weakness, incessant vomiting or dark urine, you should seek immediate medical attention, since these symptoms can indicate severe dehydration.
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Do Salt Water Sprays Or Rinses Help
Yes. A rinse can help break up congestion and remove bacteria and parts of the virus from your nose. You can buy an over-the-counter saline spray or use this recipe:
Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of sterile, distilled, or previously boiled water. Lean over the bathroom sink. Gently squirt the solution in your nostril using a bulb syringe. Hold the other side of your nose closed with your finger. Let the mix drain out. Repeat two to three times, and then do the same with the other side.
Drink Water And Fluids
Drinking water and other fluids is even more important when you have the flu. This is true whether you have a respiratory flu or a stomach flu.
Water helps to keep your nose, mouth, and throat moist. This helps your body get rid of built-up mucous and phlegm.
You can also get dehydrated if you arent eating or drinking normally. Diarrhea and fever , can also cause water loss.
You can stay hydrated by consuming plenty of:
Youll know youre drinking enough water and liquids if:
- you have to urinate regularly
- the color of your urine is almost clear or pale yellow
If your urine is a deep yellow to amber color, you may be dehydrated.
Its also helpful to avoid smoking as much as possible since it can further irritate your nose, throat, and lungs.
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