What to do about the FLU.

Flu is an acute contagious viral respiratory illness.  The flu virus lives in the nose and throat.  Sneezing, nose blowing, kissing, coughing, sharing drinks and hand-to-hand contact spread the virus.

SYMPTOMS:  Usually sudden onset, and may include fever (102-103 degrees), chills, headache, generalized weakness, muscle aches, non-productive cough.  Sometimes vomiting and diarrhea can occur.  Fever may last 2-5 days even with use of fever reducing medications.

TREATMENT:  1. Tylenol 2 tablets every 4 hours for temperature and muscle ache.

2. Cough syrup as instructed on bottle.

3. Increased fluid intake and consume a light diet.

4. Rest and avoid strenuous physical activity.  Your body needs its strength to

fight the virus.  Do not tire yourself unnecessarily.

5. Dress warmly when going outdoors.  If chilled from fever, avoid bundling up

as this may only increase your temperature.

6. Practice good infection control by covering your cough “Cough Into Your 

    Sleeve.” Proper disposal of tissues in trash, wash hands frequently or use

alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

7.  Please self-isolate in your room until temperature is below 100° for 24 hours.

Viruses do not respond to antibiotics.  You must be prepared to let the flu run its course.  However, in the case of a secondary bacterial infection, it may be necessary to take an antibiotic.

  1. If antibiotics are prescribed, take according to the instructions on the bottle and for the FULL TIME PERIOD SPECIFIED.  Do not stop antibiotics after 3-4 days when temporary relief may occur – infection may not be eradicated in that length of time.
  2. Antibiotics may reduce efficacy of birth control pills.  Use back up method of birth control for the period of antibiotic use and one full cycle thereafter.
  3. Avoid alcohol while on medications.


  1. Symptoms are not responsive to medication within 5 days or symptoms worsen.
  2. Cough becomes productive – dark colored, thick mucous.
  3. Any suspected antibiotic (or other drug) adverse reaction.  Signs of adverse reaction can include rash, nausea, and abdominal pain.  An ecological imbalance of normal bacteria (caused by antibiotics may result in yeast infection or diarrhea.)
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