There’s a fine line between a very bad cold and the flu and the term ‘flu’ certainly gets thrown around too often. Many people try to find analogies for it, for example if there were a briefcase full of $50 notes just outside the door and you’d go and get it then you have a cold. If you’d stay lying on the sofa you have the flu. Others simply say you feel like you’re dying but the best way to distinguish between a cold and flu is to look at flu symptoms: fever, aches and chills, amongst others.
The influenza virus is like any other virus. It invades the body’s cells and uses them as a host to cause the symptoms you experience. The only way to rid the body of flu is for the immune system to battle the virus effectively so the cells return to normal. When the number of infected cells reaches a certain level you might start to feel hot and sweaty; the start of a fever. If you take your temperature (either in the mouth, anus or under the armpit) and you have reached 102° then you are indeed running a fever. This is a good sign which shows your body is working at fighting the infection, but for children a fever that gets too high can be dangerous. For infants of between 0 and 3 months, immediate medical attention should be sought if their rectal temperature exceeds 100.3° or drops below 97° as they grow a bit older infants can handle a slightly higher temperature without needing medical help, but as soon as it exceeds 101° you should get your child to the doctor or hospital.
Chills go hand in hand with a temperature and while you might feel freezing cold one second, once you’ve put a jumper and blanket on you’ll be boiling hot again. Unfortunately there’s little you can do about this flu symptoms apart from try to regulate your temperature by tending to whether you feel you need to be cooler or warmer and take painkillers every four hours to keep your temperature down. The third main flu symptoms fever and chills don’t incorporate is aches. You might feel like every muscle in your body hurts and you simply cannot get comfortable. Often even when you’re not moving your body will ache and again, all you can do is keep taking painkillers, drinking plenty to flush the toxins out and trying to get rest.
Along with flu symptoms fever, aches and chills you’ll most likely feel exhausted, have a headache and you might feel nauseous too. If you have a fever it’s best to stick to drinking, but if not and your appetite is back then eat a variety of good quality food to get your body back into equilibrium again. Chicken soup is great for reducing inflammation so may help your headache, and it boosts the immune system too. Most importantly with flu you need to rest until it is gone and wash your hands before touching anyone else or anything that they might touch too.
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