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What is the best thing I can do for a SEVERE seasonal flu? Worst symptoms involve my lungs/coughing, and the severe face/body pains. Other symptoms include sneezing fits with excessive discharge, runny nose, head and chest congestion, fatigue, rib pain

Please note that I am not a

Please note that I am not a physician and cannot diagnose nor treat any medical condition.

If you truly have the flu, short for influenza, this means you are infected with a virus. Presently, there is no known cure for viral infections. Unlike bacterial infections which can be cured by taking antibiotics, viral infections inhabit host cells and so must be eradicated by the host immune system.

In general, the best thing you can "do" for the flu is get plenty of rest, use heat and cold to ease aches and pains, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, and give your body time to fight the infection. Most healthy people will recover on their own given time and rest.

The flu is more serious for people who have other underlying conditions. This would include geriatrics, pediatrics, diabetics, anyone with an immune deficiency, and asthmatics. In these populations, for a variety of reasons, the flu can be more damaging, take longer to heal, and even cause death.

Prevention is the optimal way to deal with the flu. This means considering the flu shot each year depending on if you are at risk, as well as taking normal hygeine precautions such as washing hands thouroughly and frequently during the day, avoiding touching mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth), and avoiding contact with people who are already sick.

If you have the flu, you can take many over-the-counter medications to treat symptoms such as cough, phlegm, pain, headache, congestion, runny nose, and fever. Consult with your physician or pharmacist for specific recommendations as many therapies may interact with other medications you take or diseases you have.

Some simple things you can do include: sleep lots, take a hot shower and breathe in the steam or use a humidifier to loosen phlegm and chest congestion, drink hot tea with lemon and honey to soothe a sore throat, use heating pads or hot water bottles to soothe muscle aches, and drink plenty of water.

If you develop a fever higher than 101, or experience any changes in consciousness or mentation, seek medical attention urgently. Kids especially are at risk of overheating or getting dehydrated which can lead to many problems including seizures, sepsis, and kidney shut-down.

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This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of GrannyMed.com or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Be aware that many of the techniques and remedies published on this site have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness. Use of these remedies in connection with other medications can cause severe adverse reactions. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

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