What can I do at home to recover from the flu?
Answer by James M. Steckelberg, MD
Flu symptoms usually start one or two days after the virus appears and appear to be sudden. In healthy people, the flu symptoms fluctuate. Signs and symptoms range from sore throat and runny nose to fever, chills and muscle aches.
Flu symptoms can make you feel unwell, but if you are otherwise healthy you are under the age of 65 and not pregnant, take care of yourself at home instead of going to your doctor. Try these remedies:
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) to reduce fever and muscle aches. Do not give products containing aspirin to children or young adults who have recovered from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms, as these medicines are associated with Reye's Syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition in such children.
- Drink clear liquids B. Water, broth or sports drinks.
- Rest as long as you are tired and sleep as much as you can.
Stay away from work, school, and other public places for at least 24 hours after the fever, so as not to infect other people. Most people feel better within a week of the influenza virus, although coughing can last another week or two.
Release date: 2016-07-26