Person with Flu

Flu symptoms and prevention: All you need to know about influenza signs and treatment.

Flu can cause muscle aches, fevers, and chills. Many of you may have experienced the horrible effects of flu symptoms already.

Respiratory illness can be fatal. Michael Kinch, Ph.D. is an immunologist and vaccine expert as well as a dean of Sciences at Long Island University in New York. He stated that each year, approximately 60,000 Americans die from the flu.

Kinch stated that the influenza virus can be fatal in any age group, but is more common in older people and those with compromised immune systems.

No matter if you have had your flu shot, there are natural steps that we can all take to prevent influenza from spreading to our loved ones.

What is the flu?

Dr. Lisa Maragakis is the senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins Health System. She said that flu is a “very specific disease caused by the influenza virus”. There can also be mild and severe cases.

Fishman stated that the classic presentation for Influenza A is a sudden onset. A headache may be the first sign of Influenza A. Other symptoms include a headache that is more severe in the forehead or behind your eyes, and a fever of at minimum 103 degrees. There are also chills, sweats, body aches, and chills.

He noted that Influenza B is less severe than the common cold and can cause more serious complications.

What are my options for flu prevention?

The flu vaccine is “not perfect, but it’s still the best prevention we have,” Dr. Daniel Jernigan (director of the influenza unit at CDC) stated.

The agency recommends that everyone aged six months or more should be vaccinated annually.

Jernigan stated that it is not recommended for anyone with severe, life-threatening egg allergies or who has had an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine in the past.

What about timing? According to the CDC, it is best to get vaccinated before October 31st.

Jernigan said that protection takes approximately two weeks once you have received your vaccine. He also noted that flu season typically begins in November.

Fishman stated that people should get vaccinated as soon as possible, and should do so between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Maragakis says there are also other prevention strategies that people can use. These include washing your hands frequently, coughing, and sneezing into your elbow crook.

What should I do if I get the flu?

Maragakis stated that mild illnesses are usually self-limiting. She advised that if you are sick, it is best to stay at home and not to be around other people, particularly babies and pregnant women, and the elderly.

Jernigan advised people suffering from the flu to drink lots of fluids, and get plenty of nutrients. He said that antiviral drugs can be used in cases where people are admitted to a hospital or have underlying medical conditions.

Fishman also suggests that these drugs may be used in less severe cases. Fishman also recommended other flu remedies, such as getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, and taking Tylenol (or Advil) to treat the symptoms.

He said that none of the homeopathic medicines have been proven to be effective in fighting influenza.

Is the vaccine effective?

All flu vaccines available in the United States, including those for people under 65, are “quadrivalent”, which means that they protect against four flu strains.

According to the CDC, flu vaccination can reduce flu illness risk by as much as 40% to 60% in the general population. This is despite vaccine effectiveness (VE) being subject to variability.

Jernigan explained that the agency collects viruses from around the globe and determines if they can be used to make a vaccine.

How can I prevent the flu from getting worse?

Wash your hands

Keep hydrated

Exercise

Organic, plant-based food

Vitamin D supplements are available

Use probiotics

Elderberry syrup is a good choice

Use essential oils

Take Omega-3 supplements

1. Wash your hands

Hand washing is one of the best and most efficient ways to prevent the flu. Washing our hands is something that we all should do at least once a day. We should wash our hands after going to the bathroom, but we also need to do it after we have been on public transport, used equipment at the gym, or shaken hands with someone. It is important to be careful during winter months.

2. Keep hydrated

It is vital to stay hydrated all year, but winter is a particularly important time. Because we don’t sweat as much in cold weather, it is easy to forget about drinking enough water. Drinking six to eight glasses of water per day can help boost your immunity system and keep you healthy.

3. Exercise

Exercise, like water, has immune-boosting properties. According to Amy Rothenberg, a naturopathic doctor, exercise also increases circulation and reduces stress. It also offers another method of eliminating toxins through sweat, Amy Rothenberg says. It is important to not overdo it. You should get enough rest and see a doctor if you are ill before taking up any kind of physical activity.

4. Organic, plant-based food

You should increase the intake of organic fruits, vegetables, and especially those rich in vitamin C, such as papaya, bell peppers and strawberries, and broccoli and kale. You can also take vitamin C supplements to be safe. Talk to your doctor about the best vitamin supplements for you.

5. Vitamin D supplements are available

Some areas of the US experience gray and gloomy winters. Many Americans are deficient in vitamin D, particularly towards the end of the year. To determine if a vitamin supplement is required, your doctor can perform a simple blood test to check your vitamin D levels. Many East Coast doctors recommend vitamin D to their patients. Vitamin D deficiencies can lead to a variety of health problems, including the flu and heart disease.

6. Probiotics are a good choice

Probiotics, or “good bacteria,” are found in the gut and have been proven to be effective against colds and flu. Probiotics can help restore balance to the bacteria in our bodies that antibiotics can’t destroy. Probiotics are available in pills and a common dosage is in the billions. However, you can also add probiotics to your diet by eating yogurt, tempeh, and kimchi.

7. Elderberry syrup is a good choice

Elderberry syrup has vitamins A, B, and C. It also boosts immunity and prevents colds. Elderberry syrups can be added to your tea, yogurt, or oatmeal, or blended into a smoothie.

8. Use essential oils

Essential oils can be used as natural antibacterial agents, restoratives, and curatives. Essential oils also smell great. You can diffuse grade A essential oils in your home or apply them topically on your skin. Oregano oil can be applied to your back, chest, and bottom of your feet. Oregano oil is not only a natural antibiotic but also has strong antihistamine properties.

9. Take Omega-3 supplements

Instead of turning to fish oil to get your health-promoting omega-3 and 9 fatty acids and antioxidants, you should consider using marine phytoplankton. It is where fish get their omega-3 and 6 and 9 fatty acids as well as their vitamin. It is easy to enjoy its benefits by adding 10 to 15 drops of it into your water.

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