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What to Do at the First Sign of Flu

By Sara Butler

The flu doesn't seem to be as terrible this year as it was last, but it's still not something you want to mess around with. When you feel those first aches and pains, throat tickles, or temperature spike, it should make you worried. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in any given year the flu impacts the lives of 20 percent of Americans. That's why it's so vital to your continued health and wellness that when those first symptoms begin to rear their ugly heads, you know what to do. Here are some tips to help you heal faster, feel better, and reduce the chances of spreading it to your whole family.

Recognize the Signs

You may think that the flu is really just a simple cold -- at first. While it is true that the flu has similar symptoms to a cold, flu symptoms come on faster and more severely. Early signs you shouldn't ignore or dismiss include:

  • Sudden fever
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose

Not everyone has a fever with the flu, so keep that in mind when assessing your symptoms.

What to Do

What do you do if you suspect you have the flu? You should:

  • Wash your hands - Frequently wash your hands to prevent spreading the virus to others
  • Cover your cough - Don't use your hands to cover your mouth when you cough, but use a tissue or the crook of your arm so you reduce spreading the virus
  • Eat well - You may not feel like eating a lot, but it'll do you good to eat foods that help to keep your immune systems strong such as fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Drink up - Make sure to drink a lot of fluids when you're starting to feel sick, though it's best to avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Stay home - Rest is very important to your recovery, so get enough rest and stay home from school and work

What You Shouldn't Do

If you think you may have the flu, it's best to avoid:

  • Going to work and school - You're contagious for five to seven days after you began to feel sick, so stay away from others in that time
  • Don't push - The flu gets worse before it gets better, so don't push yourself when you feel the symptoms starting to come on
  • Don't smoke - Smoking irritates your lungs and the flu is a respiratory illness, so smoking only makes symptoms worse

If you suspect you have the flu, take care of yourself and take care not to spread it to others!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Memphis, Tenn.

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