Cold and flu season is upon us once again. Sneezing children crowd the pediatricians’ offices, coughing and aching adults flock to the nearest bed or couch for comfort. This year, cold and flu season doesn’t have to be such a drag – take necessary precautions to avoid it and/or heed the following advice for quicker recoveries.
How do people get a cold or flu? Well, the virus enters the body through mucous membranes in the nose, mouth, or eyes. When someone sneezes, the virus spreads through the air where it can be inhaled by anyone nearby. In the US, about 20% of the population gets the flu each fall and winter.
People develop colds and flu-symptoms about three days after exposure or inhalation of the virus. The symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, fatigue, dry cough, runny noses, and sometimes upset stomachs. A person with a cold will have the following symptoms: sneezing, stuffy nose, coughing that produces phlegm, sore throat, and chest congestion.
There are some things you can do to keep you protected from getting a cold or the flu. Wash your hands often and especially after touching another person who is sick, and furthermore, do not put your hands near your mouth, eyes, or nose – the areas where the virus enters the body. Spray Lysol in rooms where a sick person has been in or around. This will kill 99% of airborne germs. Consume lots of Zinc and Vitamin C to keep your immune systems in tip top shape so it can fight off germs. If you are really scared of getting the flu, try getting a flu shot. I personally don’t believe in them because I know many cases where even with the flu vaccine, the certain people still came down with the flu. Airborne is an Over-The-Counter Medication that has become popular the past few years. Take the tablets to ward off airborne germs.
Before you head to your doctor or Emergency Room, keep this in mind- there are no immediate cures! Physicians will only give you antihistamines and Tylenol products for colds and anti-virals for severe cases of the flu (only if given 24-48 hours after the start of flu symptoms.) You see, a cold or virus has to run its course – there are no miracle medications, just aids in speeding recovery times and taking away the aches and pains. Be brave and again, let it run its course. Going to a doc or ER will only cause you to infect others that are sitting in the waiting areas. OTC medications like Benedryl, Acetaminophen, Nyquil, and Sudafed has ingredients that will suppress and aid in healing.
During your sick days, get plenty of rest and DON’T PANIC! Stay away from public places, or if you have to go out, cover your mouth when you sneeze, use tissues, and wash your hands. If a fever runs high, take OTC medications designed to fight fevers such as Tylenol. Within a few hours, the fever should begin subsiding. For aches and pains, again, take OTC medications. Drink plenty liquids so you don’t become dehydrated. Water is best to consume. Soups are always a nice comfort food to eat when you’re sick.
With a little education and knowing facts about colds and the flu, people can better prepare for and understand the viruses of the season.