- Influenza, commonly called the flu, is always caused by a virus. Antibiotics will not help, unless the person develops a secondary bacterial infection.
- The symptoms usually come on abruptly.
- A person with the flu often experiences a "knocked-off-your-feet" feeling with muscle aches in the back and legs and a high fever (up to 40°C / 104°F). The fever typically begins to subside on the second or third day.
- Many people will develop a cough (which is usually dry and can be severe) and chest pains.
- Some will develop a runny nose and sore throat.
- Fatigue and weakness may continue for days or even weeks.
- To help your body fight the flu, rest in bed, and drink plenty of fluids. Pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen , decongestants, and cough suppressants may keep you more comfortable as you recover.
- Consider getting a flu shot. Talk to your doctor about it.
- Get plenty of sleep, reduce stress, and eat lots of fruit and vegetables
Health Promotion Services, Student Services, NUI Galway
With thanks to Health Promotion and Preventative Services, University of Arizona