Coping with Flu Season

We’ve all had that awful feeling of coming down with the flu. Here’s a seasonal reminder of what to expect, and how you can ease flu symptoms if the virus turns up in your home.


  • fever over 102
  • nausea
  • chills and sweats
  • fatigue and muscle aches
  • dry cough
  • headache, congestion
  • loss of appetite

What you can do:

  • Get lots of rest. Cover up with a blanket to conserve energy.
  • Drink liquids. Think water, clear juices, hot soup or tea and sports drink.
  • Take a steamy shower. Or if you’re dizzy, just sit in a steamy bathroom.
  • Blow your nose instead of sniffing. Don’t blow too hard.
  • Gargle with warm salt water.
  • Put hot or cold packs on your forehead. Try a hot washcloth or bag of frozen veggies.
  • Prop your head up to sleep.
  • Take pain medication. Try acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen. Don’t give aspirin to children or teenagers.

When to call a doctor:

  • Fever lasts for more than 3 days; symptoms for more than 10
  • Symptoms appear to improve but return with fever and worse cough
  • Trouble breathing; bluish skin color
  • Earache or drainage
  • Confusion, irritability, changes in mental state
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Severe pain in face, forehead or chest
  • Fainting or seizures

An ounce of prevetion:

  • The flu is contagious. It can be spread from the day before symptoms appear, to between seven and 14 days after getting sick.
  • wash hands frequently, especially after coughing or blowing your nose
  • avoid people who are sick
  • cover mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • ask your doctor about vaccination—flu vaccine available at all AFM offices