Flu Symptoms? Here’s What to Do in the First 24 Hours
You have a pounding headache and aching muscles. The flu virus may have invaded your body, and it really couldn’t care less about the hectic week you have ahead.
At this stage, you consider options:
- Deny! You simply can’t afford to get sick. You consider harnessing your brain power and tell yourself you’re doing just fine;
- Take Vitamin C and carry on – your work and family are relying on you; or,
- Schedule an appointment with a medical expert.
If you’re looking to recover quickly, it is option 3. A medical expert will be able to determine if you have a cold or the flu. It’s important to contact your Wello Nurse Practitioner or another health provider as soon as you notice any sudden, out-of-the-ordinary symptoms such as acute fever, aching muscle, sore throat, severe fatigue, and even gastro distress. If you use our virtual medicine service, you can get an appointment, diagnosis and treatment plan from the comfort of home.
Here are tips for dealing with the flu quickly:
The influenza virus doesn’t care that you have pressing work deadlines and a family to care for. It demands rest. And unfortunately, ignoring those demands and trying to push through will only delay your recovery. Note that rest means sleeping and laying low. Working from home as you struggle to get your stinging eyes to focus on your laptop screen does not qualify!
Stay home and wash your hands frequently
Flu symptoms typically appear 1 to 4 days after exposure to the virus – if you have a fever, cough, muscle aches and pain, be sure to stay away from your work and rest.
According to the Canadian Immunization Guide, you’re contagious for up to a week and can even pass on your flu a day before your symptoms develop to approximately five days after symptoms start. While you’re at home, wash your hands frequently and wipe down surfaces to avoid infecting your loved ones.
Fluids such as water, juice, herbal teas and hot water and lemon will help to get your body hydrated. Avoid high sugar or caffeinated drinks such as black tea or coffee, as well as alcohol – all of which dehydrate you.
There are many pharmacologic and over-the-counter options to help you relieve flu symptoms such as aches and pains, uncomfortable fever and respiratory congestion. Your Wello Nurse Practitioner or pharmacist can advise you on over-the-counter medications that can best help in consideration of your medical history and preferences. Applying a hot water bottle or heating pad or taking a warm bath can help ease muscle pain. If you have a sore throat, try over-the-counter throat lozenges or gargling with salt water. There are also specific sprays and drops that can help unblock a stuffy nose.
Think you have the flu? Call Wello!
Our caring and experienced nurse practitioners can put together a treatment plan to relieve your flu symptoms and get you feeling better as soon as possible. Remember, the best time to treat influenza is in the first 24 hours, so don’t delay. Book an appointment by logging into your patient portal if you notice any symptoms.