Now that we’ve safely vaccinated ourselves against COVID -19, we’ve taken our booster shots to immunize our bodies against the pandemic – in waltzes our age-old friend, Influenza. We are all very well acquainted with the Flu, having spent many winter days sick in bed with headaches, body aches, sniffles and fever. You may have chosen to get an annual flu vaccine this year to help you fight off the bug before it makes itself an unwelcome guest in your household, but if you haven’t, there are still many remedies available to help you beat the flu bug.
Exactly what is Flu?
Influenza is commonly known as the Flu and is a highly infectious virus that attacks the respiratory system – that is, your nose, mouth, throat and lungs. According to research it seems to thrive in low humidity and survives longer in lower temperatures, which explains why it\’s so common in colder winter months. Interestingly, even its name may have been derived from the Italian term influenza di freddo, meaning “influence of the cold.”
The Common Cold vs the Flu
Despite being confused often, the Flu and the common cold are not the same thing. The common cold and flu are two slightly different viruses, but they are from the same family group of viral infections. When you catch a cold your symptoms tend to be a lot milder than the Flu, resulting in a stuffy or runny nose and a lot of sneezes. The onset of these symptoms are also a lot more gradual. On the other hand, Influenza’s symptoms hit you like a ton of bricks almost immediately. The onset is a concoction of viral infections that you will have to treat with an equal concoction of medicines. Influenza symptoms include a sore body, sore throat, fever, aches, chills, fatigue, headaches and a cough. Left untreated, the Flu virus can further cause other viral infections like pneumonia, especially in high risk patients.
Beating the flu bug – old school
You may have an arsenal of treatment plans to beat the flu bug right in your house (this includes your granny’s age old remedies). Yet the most effectively proven way to fight off the flu is to get plenty of rest. Along with rest, hydration is a top priority in keeping this bug at bay. You can ransack your cupboard for ginger teas and chicken broth soups to stay hydrated and boost your immune system as both of these help to fight off the virus. Steaming and keeping your room humidified helps in keeping the air moisture level high to deter the spread of viruses and to help clear up respiratory infections and nasal passages.
Beating the flu bug – COVID style
The recent COVID pandemic has taught us very useful methods to keep ourselves safe from viruses, no matter the season. Our bodies need to constantly adjust to changing temperatures so they can keep healthy. It is useful to keep adhering to COVID guidelines to help your body fight off the flu bug. This includes keeping safe distances in crowded areas, wearing masks when you go to places where you are likely to come in contact with air-borne viruses, and to sanitize and wash your hands regularly.
Beating the flu bug – Don’t forget the professionals
It’s a good idea to seek professional medical help if your symptoms stick around for more than a day or two, as your doctor\’s prescription meds are your safest bet for a quick recovery. Alternatively get your pharmacist’s advice for over-the counter medications in milder cases. Most importantly, don’t take the Flu too lightly. Unlike the common cold, it can turn deadly if not treated. So take that duvet day, rest up, and get better before taking on your life again.