Treating the Flu

Influenza is caused by a virus, so antibiotics (like penicillin) don't work to cure it. The best way to prevent the flu is to get an each fall, before flu season. 

The following may help you get through the flu: 

  • Get plenty of bed rest 
  • Drink plenty of fluids 
  • Drink warm liquids or gargle with salt water to relieve a sore throat 
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve headaches and pain. Do not give aspirin (ASA) to children under 19 years as they may be at risk of getting Reye's Syndrome 

You should see a doctor if the following happens:

  • Symptoms do not improve after 4 to 7 days 
  • You have a temperature of over 100.4 degrees fahrenheit for more than 3 days 
  • You are coughing up yellow or green phlegm 
  • You have difficulty breathing 
  • Your chest hurts when you cough or breathe 
  • You have a condition which carries a high risk for complications. These include chronic heart, kidney and lung diseases; diabetes mellitus; severe anemia; or a depressed immune system.

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