It may start with a typical cold — stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing — but then other symptoms start setting in — a fever, chills, aches and pains, fatigue, nausea. The flu season is upon us and sick people across the country are wondering if they do indeed have the flu, if they should keep going to work, go to the doctor, what medications they should take, and what foods they should eat. When you’re sick with either a severe cold or the flu, no one wants to research the best methods of treatment, they just want to get better. Here are some quick tips and advice on how to get better quickly.
If you’re starting to feel sick and think it might be the flu, schedule an appointment at Sherwood Urgent Care in Detroit right away, especially if you haven’t had the flu shot or have been near someone who is sick. The flu can be serious when not treated right away, so don’t hesitate to call us.
The flu can sometimes feel like a typical cold. The best way to tell if you have the flu and not just a cold is to visit a doctor or the urgent care.
- Cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Fever (you may have the flu even if you don’t have a fever)
Sometimes diarrhea or vomiting
Should I Go to Work?
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is best that you stay home from work. This will give your body the best chance at healing and will prevent the sickness from spreading to other people. Stay home for at least 24 hours, or until the symptoms are manageable. Avoid going to the grocery store, school, or other social events. If you are 65 or older, or have a child who is sick, it is best to seek medical attention sooner rather than later.
What Medications Should I Take?
Regardless of the brand of medication, you want to look for a few specific active ingredients:
- Analgesics: These include acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen.
- Decongestants: When you have a stuffy nose and a chest cough. They include pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine.
- Expectorants: These loosen mucus so that it’s easier to cough up. Look for guaifenesin, or just the word expectorant, on the box.
- Antihistamines: These are generally used for allergies, and contain chlorpheniramine maleate, diphenhydramine, and doxylamine succinate.
- Cough Suppressants: These will prevent the need to cough, look for dextromethorphan.
- Prescription Medication: If you see a doctor and are diagnosed with the flu, they will prescribe antiviral medication. Common antivirals are Oseltamivir, Zanamivir, and Baloxavir.
How Long Does It Last?
Depending on the severity, it can last between one and two days up to two weeks. With the right medication and care, it can be shortened.
Is It Too Late to Get the Flu Shot?
No, it is not too late. Peak flu season is generally from December to February, but can last until May. Even if you think that you’re not at risk, some people can be carriers of the virus, meaning that the germs can cause an asymptomatic infection, but can still be spread from person to person.
If you have any symptoms of the flu, schedule an appointment at our urgent care in Detroit today.