w

Lisa Kelly

Curator Kids Health Australia

BA Marketing and Mother of Two

WELLBEING

How to Get Rid of Flu Faster

By Lisa Kelly

Posted  June 23 2017 | 0 Shares

SHARE / LIKE

We are well into flu season, and while most of us are gearing up against this sickness, many of us also understand that the only way to get rid of it is to just have it. After all, influenza is a virus and there’s no real cure for it, in the strictest sense of the term. However, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to get rid of flu faster.

Why you should get rid of flu faster

In most healthy persons, flu isn’t dangerous. It can be extremely uncomfortable, yes, but it often isn’t life-threatening.

However, in the cases of very young children, elderly patients, and those whose immune systems are already compromised in the first place, or have underlying medical issues such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease, there are plenty of reasons to get rid of the flu faster.

Read: Keep sniffles away this winter

When you’re down with the disease, your whole body is in misery: You get fever, chills, headaches, and tender muscles. This is the result of inflammation, which is a sign that your immune system is trying to fight off the infection. Your whole system is in a weakened state as it focuses on pushing out the invaders.

At this point, you’re open to even more infections. For example, throat bacteria that are normally harmless can descend into your lungs, causing pneumonia.

Antiviral medication

According to Susan J. Them, MD, vice chair of the department of infectious diseases and executive director of physician health at Cleveland Clinic, “Flu is one of the few viral respiratory illnesses that we can actually treat specifically.”

Flu-specific antiviral drugs are especially helpful : They inhibit the virus from reproducing, which can help result in a milder, shorter case of the flu.

The key to this treatment, however, is quick action. The medications work best when they’re administered within the first 48 hours of illness; so at the first sign of a cold, it’s a good idea to take your child to your GP.

Covering the basics

Most reasonably healthy, lower-risk children will do just fine with bed rest, plenty of fluids, and fever-reducing medication.

Besides water (which can tiresome pretty quickly), have on hand plenty of juices, soups, tea, and electrolyte solutions such as Pedialyte. This last one comes in bottled liquid forms and ice pops, the latter of which is especially helpful if your child is having trouble swallowing.

Take care to wash hands frequently so as not to spread the virus. Disinfect doorknobs, closet handles, toilet flushers, and anything else that gets handled a lot.

What you need to know

To make sure you catch, treat, and get rid of flu faster, it helps to know the symptoms. Fever, aches, chills, tiredness, and sudden onset (or FACTS) are things to watch out for.

It’s also worth noting the fever and aches last 2-4 days in most people. Even when this is gone, however, your child will likely be contagious for another day or two. Also, they’ll be left with a dry cough and tiredness that can last a week or so.

Reviewed by Lisa Kelly 23 June 2017 references
  • current version

  • PEER REVIEWER

  • document id

  • next review

This document has been developed and peer reviewed by a KIDS HEALTH Advisory Board Representative and is based on expert opinion and the available published literature at the time of review. Information contained in this document is not intended to replace medical advice and any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner.

make a comment

0 comments

latest articles

view all

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED - MEET THE EXPERTS VIEW ALL

How to Get Rid of Flu Faster

WELLBEING

By Lisa Kelly

We are well into flu season, and while most of us are gearing up against this sickness, many of us also understand that the only way to get rid of it is to just have it. After all, influenza is a virus and there’s no real cure for it, in the strictest sense of the term. However, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to get rid of flu faster.

Why you should get rid of flu faster

In most healthy persons, flu isn’t dangerous. It can be extremely uncomfortable, yes, but it often isn’t life-threatening.

However, in the cases of very young children, elderly patients, and those whose immune systems are already compromised in the first place, or have underlying medical issues such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease, there are plenty of reasons to get rid of the flu faster.

Read: Keep sniffles away this winter

When you’re down with the disease, your whole body is in misery: You get fever, chills, headaches, and tender muscles. This is the result of inflammation, which is a sign that your immune system is trying to fight off the infection. Your whole system is in a weakened state as it focuses on pushing out the invaders.

At this point, you’re open to even more infections. For example, throat bacteria that are normally harmless can descend into your lungs, causing pneumonia.

Antiviral medication

According to Susan J. Them, MD, vice chair of the department of infectious diseases and executive director of physician health at Cleveland Clinic, “Flu is one of the few viral respiratory illnesses that we can actually treat specifically.”

Flu-specific antiviral drugs are especially helpful : They inhibit the virus from reproducing, which can help result in a milder, shorter case of the flu.

The key to this treatment, however, is quick action. The medications work best when they’re administered within the first 48 hours of illness; so at the first sign of a cold, it’s a good idea to take your child to your GP.

Covering the basics

Most reasonably healthy, lower-risk children will do just fine with bed rest, plenty of fluids, and fever-reducing medication.

Besides water (which can tiresome pretty quickly), have on hand plenty of juices, soups, tea, and electrolyte solutions such as Pedialyte. This last one comes in bottled liquid forms and ice pops, the latter of which is especially helpful if your child is having trouble swallowing.

Take care to wash hands frequently so as not to spread the virus. Disinfect doorknobs, closet handles, toilet flushers, and anything else that gets handled a lot.

What you need to know

To make sure you catch, treat, and get rid of flu faster, it helps to know the symptoms. Fever, aches, chills, tiredness, and sudden onset (or FACTS) are things to watch out for.

It’s also worth noting the fever and aches last 2-4 days in most people. Even when this is gone, however, your child will likely be contagious for another day or two. Also, they’ll be left with a dry cough and tiredness that can last a week or so.

Reviewed by Lisa Kelly 23 June 2017
references
  • current version

  • PEER REVIEWER

  • Doc id

  • next review

This document has been developed and peer reviewed by a KIDS HEALTH Advisory Board Representative and is based on expert opinion and the available published literature at the time of review. Information contained in this document is not intended to replace medical advice and any questions regarding a medical diagnosis or treatment should be directed to a medical practitioner.

make a comment

0 comments

more articles by Lisa Kelly

view more

latest articles

view more

MEET THE EXPERTS

view more