How do you know it’s the flu?

    It’s flu season all over the Northern Utah area and if you haven’t gotten it yet, chances are you will. And this year, even if you have received a shot.

    The first few hours are critical in getting treatment, but how do you know if you just have a cold or the onset of the flu?

    Flu Common Cold
    Sudden onset of symptoms. Can be severe. Mild symptoms
    Fever between 102 degrees F and 104 degrees F. Lasts three to four days Fever below 102 degrees F
    Muscle aches Some aching muscles
    Headache Headache
    Sore throat Loss of appetite
    Very tired and weak. Some people feel extremely exhausted Stuffy nose
    Cough that can be severe Chills and sweats.
    Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

    Click here for more symptoms.

    fluYou can get both viruses the same way – personal contact with the virus. You touch something a flu infected person touches and then you touch your face.

    So how can you prevent getting the flu – the obvious thing and the hardest way is practice good personal hygiene? This sounds easy enough, but how many times do we touch our face and eyes? Sounds gross, but how many times do we wash our hands before eating out? Kids are taught to sing the Happy Birthday song twice to reach the optimal 20 seconds of good hand washing. Do WE practice that?

    You can also boost your immunity system by decreasing your intake of processed carbohydrates and sugars. The more sugar you eat, the less your immune system will work.

    Look into supplementing herbs into your diet like Echinacea or similar herbs. Fresh ginger in hot water may also boost your immune system.

    Nasal saline washes and rinses are great to help your stuffy nose. HOWEVER, don’t use a netty pot when you’re completely plugged – the solution will drain right into your ears.

    Garlic is good and not just in spaghetti – it relieves cough and congestion as well as boosting your immune system.

    However, the one thing you may want to do is to get a flu shot. They say it’s not too late and may prevent a long and agonizing bout with the flu.

    The Kleenex Company website also has some great tips to preventing the spread of the flu.

    Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has up to date information on this year’s flu season.

    As with anything, this flu season shall pass.

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