I think I have the flu! What do I do?
When you’re feeling sick, it can be hard to know whether you just have a bad cold, or if you have the flu. The flu, however, usually causes high fevers (over 100) unlike a cold in which there often is no fever. And while both the flu and a cold can have bad coughs, the flu usually also has very bad muscle/body aches and weakness whereas a cold does not. The flu often does not have much sneezing, runny nose or nasal congestion but a cold usually does. If you do have the flu, or think you do, get plenty of rest and sleep–best to stay in bed for a few days; drink a lot fluids and take over-the-counter flu medications like Ibuprofen, Advil, Tylenol, and cough medicine to help you feel better by reducing your aches, pains, fever and cough. Tamiflu, a medicine specifically for the flu, can reduce the length of time you are sick by about a day, and may decrease the severity of your symptoms as well. However, for this anti-flu medication to help, you must start it no later than 48 hours after your symptoms first begin. And nausea may be a significant side effect. This medicine requires a prescription so you will need to call your health care provider.
For up-to-date information on the flu and its symptoms, go to the CT DPH or U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- A guide to self care from Eastern’s Health Service