Sick with the Flu? Here's What to Do Next

Health officials offer advice on what to do if you get sick with the flu

(RxWiki News) In all the chaos surrounding COVID-19, the flu may be easy to forget — until you start feeling sick. Here's what you should do if you get the flu.

Of course, the best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine. But if you're past that point and already feeling sick, consider taking the following steps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends.

Stay Home and Rest

According to the CDC, you should stay home if you have the flu, with the only acceptable outings being for medical care or absolute necessities. And you should stay home until 24 hours after your fever has gone away without the use of fever-reducing drugs.

That means no work, school, shopping, public gatherings or travel until you've been feeling better for at least a day.

Avoid Contact with Others

The flu can only spread from you to someone else if you're in contact with someone else. To prevent the spread of the flu, avoid contact with others.

This can be difficult if you live in a home with other people, but you can whip out a trusty COVID-19 prevention tool if you must have contact with someone else. It's your face mask. In much the same way that masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19, they help prevent the spread of the flu, too.

Call Your Doctor if You're at High Risk

The very young, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are considered to be at high risk of serious complications from the flu. If you fall into one of those groups or have a pre-existing condition that may increase your risk, immediately call your health care provider when you start to feel sick. Even if you're not sure it's the flu, it's important to give your doctor a call so they can advise you on your next steps.

Watch for Severe Symptoms

While most people recover from the flu without needing to see a health care provider, the flu can become serious. If your case becomes serious, you need to seek immediate medical care.

Here are some of the serious flu symptoms to watch out for in adults:

  • Severe muscle pain or weakness
  • Seizures
  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pressure or pain in the upper abdomen or chest
  • Not urinating

And here are some of the serious flu symptoms to watch for in children:

  • Rapid breathing or difficulty with breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Ribs visibly pulling inward with each breath
  • Dry mouth, not urinating and other signs of dehydration
  • A fever higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit (or any fever in children younger than 12 weeks)
  • Seizures
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Bluish face or lips

If you have any concerns about your condition or that of your child, reach out to a health care provider right away.

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Review Date: 
January 5, 2022