Breastfeeding When Youre Sick
Youre likely to feel tired, so listen to your body and get some rest when you can. Sleep when your baby sleeps and ask for help at home if you need it.
Breastfeeding your baby when youâre sick is generally safe. In rare cases, you may need to stop breastfeeding if you have a serious illness. Talk to your GP if you are worried.
For most illnesses, continuing to breastfeed will pass on immunity cells to your baby. This may help them to fight this specific infection. If your baby becomes ill, your breast milk will help them to recover more quickly.
Practising good hygiene is very important to stop any infection spreading to others. With coughs and colds, cough into a tissue, bin it, and then wash your hands.
Rest Is Key To Recovering From The Flu
If you get the flu, be sure to stay hydrated. You can also take medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to help reduce the severity of your symptoms, such as fever and body aches.
Hydration and symptom management arent enough, however. The key to recovering from the flu as fast as possible is to get plenty of rest. By resting during the day, your body will be able to devote more resources to fighting the virus.
Sleep is also important. Sleep gives your body the opportunity to focus on strengthening your immune system. Research tells us that your body uses the time you sleep to develop key proteins in your brain. These specialized proteins are designed to boost your immune system so youre better equipped to fight off infections.
What Should I Do If I Get Sick
Most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.
If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a higher-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider .
Certain people are at increased risk of serious flu-related complications . For a full list of people at increased risk of flu-related complications, see People at Higher Risk of Developing FluRelated Complications. If you are in a higher-risk group and develop flu symptoms, its best for you to contact your doctor early in your illness. Remind them about your higher-risk status for flu. CDC recommends that people at higher risk for complications should get antiviral treatment as early as possible, because benefit is greatest if treatment is started within 2 days after illness onset.
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Plan To Stay Home For A Bit Especially If You Have A Fever
You should stay home with the flu. You should not go to work or school if you have the flu. If youre sick, you should stay home. You need to rest, and it can stop you from spreading germs around town.
Its particularly important to stay home if you have a fever, and for at least 24 hours after your fever goes away . Why? Because youre most contagious when you have a fever and the day after it breaks.
Are The Symptoms Of Rsv Different From Covid And The Flu
Not really. The basic symptoms of RSV, Covid, and the flu overlap, which makes it tough to distinguish one illness from the other.
According to the CDC, basic RSV symptoms typically include:
Wheezing is one symptom that we see more in RSV than in influenza and Covid, Dr. Dobrzynski says. Thats the one, obviously, we worry about in people with a background of COPD or asthma. They get into these attacks that cause worsening wheezing with RSV, and that leads to potentially severe complications.
Generally, RSV symptoms typically appear gradually, similar to Covid. The flu often comes on more suddenly.
If youre in a high-risk group and have any severe symptoms, its a good idea to get checked out by your doctor, Dr. Salata recommends. RSV can progress to pneumonia or bronchitis.
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Start With Home Remedies For The Flu
As soon as you notice symptoms, there are a few things you can do to treat the flu at home while you monitor the situation or wait to talk with a doctor:
- Take it easy and get plenty of rest Going to bed early and naps are highly encouraged. Rest helps speed recovery.
- Stay hydrated Making sure youre getting enough fluids helps you get better faster and reduces risks of complications. Although you may feel like you dont want to eat or drink, try taking small sips of water, juice or broth regularly throughout the day.
- Try saline nasal spray If your symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, a saline nasal spray can help relieve pressure so you can breathe easier.
- Use over-the-counter medications to help lessen certain symptoms Acetaminophen or ibuprofen are often recommended by doctors to help reduce fevers and provide treatment for headache relief. However, if youre treating a child with the flu, its important to only give them medications that have been recommended by their doctor. You should never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have the flu since it comes with a small risk of causing the potentially fatal Reye’s Syndrome.
If youre wondering what else you can take for the flu, there are antivirals like Tamiflu that can be effective. Do you need a prescription for Tamiflu or other antivirals? Yes and well get to that in Step 5.
What to eat when you have the flu
Paracetamol For Pain And Fever
Paracetamol can be used for adults and children over 1 month for pain and symptoms of fever. Make sure youve got the right strength for your childs age and weight as overdosing can be dangerous.
Read and follow the directions on the label carefully. If you are not sure check with your doctor or pharmacist.
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Call Your Health Care Provider Asap
Not everyone who gets the flu needs to see their doctor, but people over 65 do. Thats because age itself along with many other conditions that often come along in later years, such as diabetes and heart disease puts you at risk for serious complications from the flu, namely pneumonia.
As we age, our immune system responds less vigorously than it does when were younger, explains Stuart Ray, M.D., professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Both antibodies and T cells play important roles in protecting against infection and severe disease from influenza. And those tend to decrease during late adulthood.
Your doctor will likely prescribe an antiviral medication that helps your body fight off the influenza virus. Research shows that taking an antiviral, like Tamiflu, at the first sign of the flu can reduce symptoms and shorten your bout of the flu by one day.
Dont postpone treatment
With antivirals, time is of the essence. You should take them within 48 hours after symptoms kick in. What we adults tend to do is say, Id rather not go to the doctor. Lets see if I feel better tomorrow, Schaffner says. When we get what we think is influenza, its important to contact our health care provider, because the sooner we get the treatment, the better the success of the treatment.
What Are The Benefits Of Antiviral Drugs
When treatment is started within two days of becoming sick with flu symptoms, antiviral drugs can lessen fever and flu symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by about one day. They also may reduce the risk of complications such as ear infections in children, respiratory complications requiring antibiotics, and hospitalization in adults. For people at higher risk of serious flu complications, early treatment with an antiviral drug can mean having milder illness instead of more severe illness that might require a hospital stay. For adults hospitalized with flu illness, some studies have reported that early antiviral treatment can reduce their risk of death.
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How To Avoid Spreading The Flu
Flu is very infectious and easily spread to other people. You’re more likely to give it to others in the first 5 days.
Flu is spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.
To reduce the risk of spreading flu:
- wash your hands often with warm water and soap
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- bin used tissues as quickly as possible
Try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities.
Ibuprofen For Pain And Fever
Ibuprofen can be given for pain and symptoms of fever in adults and children of 3 months and over, according to their weight. Make sure youve got the right strength for your childs age and weight as overdosing can be dangerous.
Read and follow the directions on the label carefully. If you are not sure check with your doctor or pharmacist. Avoid ibuprofen if your child has asthma, unless advised by your doctor.
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When Should You Seek Medical Attention
Most people who get the flu will recover within a few days to about two weeks, but there are risks of complications, including pneumonia.
For children, Dr. Murray says parents should look out for breathing trouble and dehydration . If you have any concerns, call your pediatrician, he says. And if a child who has flu starts to feel better and then suddenly gets worse, call your provider right away because sometimes they can have a bacterial infection after influenza.
Can I Take Vitamin C While Breastfeeding
Vitamin C is safe when taken within the recommended daily limit of 2,000 milligrams while breastfeeding. Your body can only absorb so much vitamin C, explains Alix Bacon, president of the Midwives Association of British Columbia. Beyond that, youre peeing it out, but it could give you a wicked stomachache. Research on whether it can help shorten the duration of a cold shows mixed results, so its not clear whether it works or not.
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Which Cold Medicines Are Safe For Breastfeeding
If youre breastfeeding and come down with a cold, dont start popping pills just yet. Most cold medicines are considered safe to take while breastfeeding, but since they do enter your milk in small quantities, follow these smart steps to make sure the remedies you take are also safe for baby.
Check the active ingredients in over-the-counter cold remedies to help determine the safety level for baby, and avoid meds with a high alcohol content . If your doctor is prescribing a medication, always remember to mention that youre breastfeeding.
Its better to take any medicine just after youve nursed, to help limit babys exposure. Also, go for short-acting versions rather than time-release or once-a-day meds, since the long-lasting kinds are tougher for baby to metabolize.
In general, throat sprays, lozenges and cough drops are considered safe. Just steer clear of chomping on lots of drops that contain mentholit can reduce your milk supply.
As for popular cold medications, heres a breakdown of whats considered safe and what has yet to be tested:
Pseudoephedrine has been approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics . However, it can potentially decrease your milk supply or cause baby to become irritable.
Acetaminophen, aka Tylenol, has been approved by the AAP, and most experts say its safe.
Guaifenesin has not been tested on breastfeeding moms, but its sometimes given to infants directly.
Dextromethorphan has been studied in breastfeeding women and is considered safe.
How To Get A Flu Vaccine
Flu vaccines are safe and effective. They’re offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.
The best time to have a flu vaccine is in the autumn before flu starts spreading. But you can get vaccinated later.
A flu vaccine is given to people who:
- are 50 and over
- have certain health conditions
- are in long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get a severe infection due to a weakened immune system, such as someone living with HIV, someone who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
The children’s nasal spray flu vaccine is given to:
- children aged 2 or 3 on 31 August 2022
- all primary school children
- some secondary school children
- children aged 2 to 17 with certain health conditions
Babies and children aged 6 months to 2 years with certain health conditions will be offered a flu vaccine injection instead of the nasal spray.
You can have an NHS flu vaccine at:
- your GP surgery
- a pharmacy offering the service
- some maternity services if you’re pregnant
Sometimes, you may be offered a flu vaccine at a hospital appointment.
School-aged children will be offered a vaccine at school or a community clinic.
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What Are The Recommended Antiviral Drugs For Children
At the first sign of flu symptoms, talk to your doctor about whether antiviral drugs might benefit your child. These flu drugs can help a child get better sooner and may prevent serious flu complications.
Antivirals work best when taken during the first two days of illness. The first dose should be taken within 48 hours of when symptoms started.
Do You Have Covid Rsv Or The Flu Here Are The Symptoms And What To Do
As many get together with friends and family over the holidays, doctors say its highly likely that respiratory viruses could spread.
Three illnesses COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus and the flu have been infesting hundreds of thousands of Americans daily, which can make it hard to tell whats wrong when you start to experience symptoms.
All three have overlapping symptoms, but a chart, created by Childrens National Hospital in Washington, D.C., compares the most common.
When it comes to the onset of symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says COVID and RSV both start gradually before they escalate, whereas the flu usually hits hard and fast.
With RSV, symptoms usually go away in about a week, according to the CDC, but symptoms persist longer with the flu and COVID.
The only true way to know which virus you may have is to take a test.
Although at-home COVID tests are available, PCR tests are still more accurate. The CDC says healthcare providers can also test for multiple viruses at once.
If you test positive for COVID, the CDC says there are precautions you can take to prevent spreading it to others: isolation, masking, and avoiding contact with people who are at high risk of getting very sick.
The CDC says regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate yourself from others when you test positive.
If you have symptoms of the flu or RSV, there are laboratory tests that can be done by your doctor.
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Help For Flu Patients
If you want a flu vaccine, your provider at Prima Medicine can provide you with a flu vaccine to help keep you healthy. If you currently have symptoms of the flu, schedule an appointment.
Our team can get you the treatment you need to alleviate your symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness. We offer same-day appointments at our urgent care clinics in Fairfax and South Riding.
To learn more about the flu and how you can treat it, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today.
Flu Symptoms & Complications
Influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
*Its important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
This video includes common signs and symptoms of flu.
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Antivirals For Treating The Flu
Even though antibiotics arent effective against the flu, there are antiviral medications that your doctor can prescribe within a certain time frame.
If these drugs are started within two days of developing flu symptoms, they can help to make your symptoms less severe or shorten the duration of your illness.
Antiviral drugs that are available to treat flu include:
Theres also a new medication called baloxavir marboxil . This antiviral drug was created by a Japanese pharmaceutical company, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2018, and is now available to treat people 12 years or older who have had flu symptoms for no more than 48 hours.
Some antiviral drugs, including oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir, work by preventing the virus from being properly released from an infected cell. This inhibition prevents newly formed virus particles from going along the respiratory tract to infect healthy cells.
The newly approved medication above, Xofluza, works by reducing the virus ability to replicate. But theyre arent usually necessary to get over the flu, and they dont kill the influenza virus.
Its not an antiviral medication like those noted above, but the seasonal flu vaccine is available every year and is the best way to prevent becoming ill with the flu.
Outside of taking antiviral medications, the best way to recover from the flu is to let the infection run its course as smoothly as possible. The following things can help in your recovery: