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What’s The Treatment For Flu

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Flu Treatment #: Soothe Your Cough With Honey

Cold vs. Flu: What’s The Difference?

Honey may offer some sweet relief for your sore throat and cough. Research from the Cochrane Database, a leading repository of clinical evidence, found that Honey may be better than diphenhydramine for relieving and reducing the effect of cough on children. Honey may also allow parents and children to sleep better than diphenhydramine. Buckwheat honey may be best of all.

If it turns out your flu is actually a cold, no matterits still a top home remedy to relieve those sore throat and cough symptoms.

How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Common Cold And Influenza

Many cold and flu symptoms are similar. Both the common cold and the flu are caused by viruses.

There are some differences with influenza. Symptoms of influenza often hit suddenly and cause you to become weaker and weaker. While the more uncomfortable symptoms of flu generally last from three to seven days, the dry cough and fatigue of influenza can last two to three weeks. Signs that influenza is getting worse include increasing degree of fever, and shortness of breath. If you think that your illness is getting worse, contact your doctor right away.

Symptoms of colds and flu

  • Stay at home.
  • Take acetaminophen to reduce fever and relieve muscle aches.

Note: Adults should not give aspirin to children or adolescents with fevers due to the association with Reye’s syndrome, a rare disorder that causes brain and liver damage.

Which Treatments Should I Take For Flu Symptoms

The flu treatment you should take depends on your symptoms. For example, if you have nasal or sinus congestion, then a decongestant can be helpful.

come in oral or nasal spray forms. Decongestants are used to reduce swelling in the nasal passageways. However, nasal spray decongestants should not be used for more than a few days because, if they are used too long and then stopped, they can cause rebound symptoms.

If you have a runny nose, postnasal drip, or itchy, watery eyes — then an antihistamine may be helpful for your flu symptoms. Antihistamines block the effect of “histamine,” and help relieve such annoying symptoms as sneezing, itching, and nasal discharge.

Some over-the-counter antihistamines often make people drowsy, whereas decongestants can make people hyper or keep them awake. Keep in mind that both decongestants and antihistamines can interact with other drugs you may be taking, and they may aggravate some conditions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about which flu symptom treatment is best for you.

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Looking After Yourself When You Have The Flu

The best things you can do to look after yourself when you have the flu are:

  • Rest you will probably feel very weak and tired until your temperature returns to normal . Rest provides comfort and allows your body to use its energy to fight the infection.
  • Stay at home stay away from work, school and any places where you may have contact with others, especially while you are contagious. The period during which adults are contagious is usually around 35 days from when the first symptoms appear, and up to 7 days in younger children.
  • Drink plenty of fluids extra fluids are needed to replace those lost because of the fever . If your urine is dark, you need to drink more. Try to drink a glass of fluids, such as water, every hour while you are awake.

Recovery From Bird Flu

Top 10 Facts About the Flu Vaccine

The course of the disease will depend on the strain of the virus affecting the individual and the degree of respiratory involvement. In general, patients usually have a good prognosis. However, some experience complications and require special measures.

During the course of infection by avian influenza, its advisable to follow the indications below:

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Which Flu Treatment Works Best For My Cough

An occasional cough may clear the lung of pollutants and excess phlegm. A persistent cough should be diagnosed and treated specifically. On the pharmacy shelf, you’ll find numerous cough medicines with various combinations of decongestants, antihistamines, analgesics/antipyretics, cough suppressants, and expectorants. Ask your pharmacist which combination, if any, would be appropriate for your cough.Ã Some research suggests that honey may help suppress a cough- but do not use in anyone under the age of one as it may cause a type of food poisoning called botulism in younger children.

How Long Is It Contagious

If you have the flu, youre contagious from at least a day before you begin to experience symptoms up through five days after your symptoms begin.

In more severe cases, you could be contagious for even longer after you begin experiencing symptoms. This number can fluctuate if your immune system is weak or undeveloped, specifically in cases of children or older adults.

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When Should You Call Your Doctor

911 or other emergency services if:

  • You are having trouble breathing, or you feel very short of breath.
  • You have a severe headache or stiff neck and are confused or having trouble staying awake.
  • You have an extremely high fever.
  • Your fever lasts longer than 3 days.
  • Your child is 3 months of age or younger and has a fever of 100.4°F or higher.
  • Your cough lasts more than 7 to 10 days after other symptoms are gone.
  • You are coughing up yellow, green, rust-colored, or bloody mucus.
  • You are finding it harder and harder to breathe.
  • Wheezing develops.
  • New pain develops or pain narrows to one area, such as an ear, the throat, the chest, or the sinuses.
  • Symptoms don’t go away, even with home treatment.
  • Symptoms become more severe or frequent.

Can Antibiotics Help My Flu Symptoms

The New Flu

Antibiotics cannot help flu symptoms. The flu is caused by a virus, and antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. Taking antibiotics needlessly may increase your risk of getting an infection later that resists antibiotic treatment. If you get a secondary bacterial infection with the flu virus, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to treat the secondary infection.

For more information, see Flu Treatment: Antibiotics or Not?

Show Sources

National Jewish Medical and Research Center: “Getting Well When You Have a Cold or the Flu.”Ã

CDC: “2011-2012 Influenza Season: Disease Activity ” “If You Have a Cold or Flu, Antibiotics Won’t Work For You! ” and “Seasonal Influenza: What You Should Know about Flu Antiviral Drugs.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Flu Facts ” “Antibiotics: When They Can and Can’t Help” and “Cough Medicine: Understanding Your OTC Options.”

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “Common Cold: Treatment.”

WebMD Medical Reference: “Kids’ Cold Medicines: New Guidelines.”

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Complementary And Alternative Medicine

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health notes that no complementary health approach has been shown to be helpful for treating influenza .

For relief of symptoms, using a neti pot or other method of saline nasal irrigation may help with congestion. Be sure to use distilled, sterile, or previously-boiled water to make the saline solution.

Honey may help relieve nighttime cough in children. However, it should never be given to children under age 1 due to the risk of botulism.

What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu

Symptoms of the flu come on suddenly and may include:

Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. This is more common in children.

Sometimes people have trouble figuring out whether they have a cold or the flu. There are differences between them. The symptoms of a cold usually come on more slowly and are less severe than symptoms of the flu. Colds rarely cause a fever or headaches.

Sometimes people say that they have a “flu” when they really have something else. For example, “stomach flu” isn’t the flu it’s gastroenteritis.

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What Made The Spanish Flu So Deadly

Some of the reasons why the Spanish flu killed so many people include:

  • The lack of effective treatment, due in part to the unknown cause at the time.
  • The cramped living arrangements of animals and people, especially the military, during World War I.
  • The lack of healthcare providers. A significant percentage of doctors were off fighting in the war.
  • The exceptional ability of the virus to copy itself and infect the lungs. This last feature was found during research into the 1918 virus, using tissue found in people who had died from the Spanish flu.

What Are The Symptoms Of Bird Flu


Clinical manifestations usually appear 2 to 7 days after exposure to the avian influenza virus. Symptomatology varies from mild to severe and life-threatening conditions.

In most cases, it usually resembles the common flu, presenting the following symptoms:

  • Cough

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What Are The Differences And Similarities Between The Spanish Flu And Covid

The Spanish flu and COVID-19 viruses arent the same. They are similar in that they’re both respiratory viruses spread through breathing in infected respiratory droplets. In addition, they both did and can cause acute respiratory distress syndrome . They are also similar in the ways that governments tried to fight them:

  • Avoiding delays in diagnosis.
  • Protective clothing like masks and gloves.
  • Hygiene practices like thorough hand washing.

COVID-19 has killed as many people in the U.S. as the Spanish flu did. But the population of the U.S. is now three times more than it was in 1918, so Spanish flu killed a larger percentage of Americans than COVID-19 has to date. If we look at the cause of death, people who had Spanish flu generally died from pneumonia and people who had COVID-19 died from multiple organ failure. Even in the case of people who developed ARDS after infection by each virus, the fatality rate was 100% for Spanish flu, as compared to 53.4% for COVID-19 because there were no treatments for infected individuals. The Spanish flu was also more deadly to healthy younger people, while COVID-19 has mostly affected people who are 65 years or older who have other diseases until the delta variant, which is infecting younger and healthier people more than prior COVID-19 variants.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/21/2021.


Flu Or Food Poisoning

There are many types of viruses, and some can affect the digestive system. People sometimes call this stomach flu. This illness is different from influenza, which is a respiratory disease.

The most common cause of stomach flu is the norovirus, which enters the body through contaminated food or drink. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Food poisoning causes similar symptoms.

Is it a stomach virus or food poisoning? Find out here.

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Flu Shot Side Effects

CDC note that the flu vaccine has a good safety record, and it cannot cause flu.

A person may experience the following adverse effects after having a vaccine, but these will be mild and usually pass within a few days.

  • pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site
  • headache
  • nausea
  • muscle aches

Around 12 people in every 1 million may develop a condition known as Guillain-Barr syndrome . However, people can also develop GBS after having flu, and the risk of this is higher than with the vaccine. The risk of developing GBS may be lower with the nasal spray version of the vaccine.

If someone experiences hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing after any vaccine, they should seek immediate medical help as these may be the sign of an allergic reaction. A severe reaction is known as anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening.

how to recognize anaphylaxis and what to do if it happens.

People who have previously had an allergic reaction to a vaccine should not have the flu shot.

Is the flu shot safe? Find out here.

Using Antiviral Medicines To Prevent The Flu

What’s your go-to cold remedy?

Two antiviral medicines can help prevent the flu caused by influenza A and B viruses. These medicines may also reduce the length of the illness if they are given as soon as possible after the first symptoms. During a flu outbreak, these medicines may be given at the same time as a flu vaccine and for 2 weeks after while your body produces antibodies to protect you from the virus.footnote 5 The influenza medicines are usually given to people who are very sick with the flu or to those who are likely to have complications from the flu. But they may also be used for a person who has been sick with the flu for less than 48 hours. These medicines are taken by mouth or inhaled into the lungs .

The antiviral medicines amantadine and rimantadine have been used to prevent flu caused by influenza A. But for the past few years the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised doctors not to use these medicines to treat or prevent the flu. These medicines have not worked against most types of the flu virus. Amantadine and rimantadine do not protect against influenza B. Be sure to talk with your doctor about the medicine that is best for you.

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Flu Treatment #: Maintain A Diet Rich In Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

For many people, flu knocks out their appetite. If youre healthy, youll not need to worry about this for a couple of days. When you are up to eating, its tempting to reach for comfort foods like cookies and ice cream, but youre better off opting for a healthy green salad, a superfood smoothie, or some good old homemade vegetable or chicken soup.

How Is Influenza Treated

Treating the flu includes staying home, getting adequate rest and staying hydrated. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral medication to treat the virus, and over-the-counter medication can be used to minimize discomfort associated with flu symptoms . Antibiotics are not useful in treating the flu but may be prescribed if necessary to clear up a related sinus or ear infection.

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How Is The Flu Treated

The flu usually doesn’t need medical treatment. Sometimes, doctors might prescribe an antiviral medicine for some people who have the flu. This medicine works best if given within the first 2 days of the illness. It can make flu symptoms milder and shorten the illness by a couple of days. But it has some side effects, so discuss the pros and cons of taking it with your doctor.

Doctors don’t prescribe antibiotics for the flu. Antibiotics only work against bacteria, not viruses.

Home Remedies And Lifestyle

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If you develop flu symptoms while at work, school, a friend’s house, or in any public place, go home. Until you have not had a fever for more than 24 hours , stay there and away from anyone unless they are providing you medical care.

Unless you have signs of a medical emergency, you do not need to go to the emergency room when you have the flu. If you must go out, wear a face mask to protect others.

Contact your healthcare provider within the first 48 hours of developing flu symptoms. This will give you a chance to discuss your symptoms and determine if you are in a high-risk group and should start prescription treatment.

Resting is needed when you have influenza. You should also avoid smoking and secondhand smoke, as this may make your symptoms worse.

Water and clear liquids are recommended for those who have influenza. This will help prevent dehydration. You should, however, avoid alcoholic beverages when you have the flu.

For sore throat, a warm saltwater gargle or lozenges may help provide relief.

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What Is Serologic Testing For Covid

A serologic test is a blood test that looks for antibodies created by your immune system. There are many reasons you might make antibodies, the most important of which is to help fight infections. The serologic test for COVID-19 specifically looks for antibodies against the COVID-19 virus.

Your body takes at least one to three weeks after you have acquired the infection to develop antibodies to this virus. For this reason, serologic tests are not sensitive enough to accurately diagnose an active COVID-19 infection, even in people with symptoms.

However, serologic tests can help identify anyone who has recovered from coronavirus. This may include people who were not initially identified as having COVID-19 because they had no symptoms, had mild symptoms, chose not to get tested, had a false-negative test, or could not get tested for any reason. Serologic tests will provide a more accurate picture of how many people have been infected with, and recovered from, coronavirus, as well as the true fatality rate.

Serologic tests may also provide information about whether people become immune to coronavirus once they’ve recovered and, if so, how long that immunity lasts.

The accuracy of serologic tests varies depending on the test and when in the course of infection the test is performed.

What Should You Do If You Have Covid

Most people who get COVID-19 or flu can treat themselves at home, and they often don’t need to see a health care provider.

However, if you have COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, especially if you are at risk of complications, you are encouraged to get tested. That’s because COVID-19 and the flu have similar symptoms.

You also can be infected with COVID-19 and flu at the same time, or another respiratory illness, which is why you can be tested for COVID-19, flu, respiratory syncytial virus and group A streptococcus during one appointment at Mayo Clinic Health System.

Common signs and symptoms for both COVID-19 and flu include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Other symptoms of COVID-19 may include a loss of taste or smell, pinkeye, nausea and chest pain.

Whether you have flu or COVID-19 with mild symptoms, there are ways you can manage your symptoms at home:

It’s important to take these measures to ensure the viruses don’t spread to others around you:

Once you are no longer infectious, it’s important to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu. And you can get both shots at the same time. Call your primary care provider or self-schedule using Patient Online Services or the Mayo Clinic App. A flu shot is recommended for all patients 6 months and older. A COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all patients 5 years and older.

Learn more about COVID-19 and flu.

In this video, Adela Taylor, M.D., explains treatment options for upper respiratory infections, including colds and flu:

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