Feeling achy and feverish in bed for days at a time isn’t ideal, but it’s better than spreading the same infection to your friends, family, and coworkers. If you get the flu, Suman Manchireddy, MD, FACP, FHM, and the rest of the team at Reliant MD Group in Leesburg, Virginia, can help you manage your symptoms and reduce your time being sick.

What is the flu?

Influenza, more commonly called the flu, is a viral illness that affects your respiratory system and can cause a fever. Even though it’s common, it can lead to hospitalizations and is highly contagious. If you get the flu, your symptoms might include:

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Coughing
  • Appetite loss
  • High body temperature

Your symptoms can last up to two weeks. If your flu comes with a fever, you can expect it to last 3-4 days. You should stay home from work or school for about 5-7 days to avoid spreading the infection to others.

How is the flu treated?

Treating the flu is often as simple as getting some bed rest and drinking lots of water. You might also take some over-the-counter pain relievers to help control your fever and body aches. If your symptoms are severe and don’t find relief from home care, the team at Reliant MD Group can help

.There are several prescription drugs that can reduce the duration of the flu and help control severe symptoms. The team may give you antiviral medications to help you avoid further complications from your flu. They might also suggest that you:

  • Stop drinking alcohol while you’re sick
  • Stop smoking
  • Drink herbal tea
  • Take vitamins
  • Stay home

Since the flu is a viral infection, taking antibiotics won’t help. Your provider can give you suggestions for appropriate medications to take for flu relief.

How can I prevent myself from getting the flu?

Flu prevention is much easier than getting the flu and trying to treat it. You should get a flu shot every year to help prevent yourself from getting sick during flu season. However, the flu shot isn’t 100% effective, so you should also follow these prevention steps to avoid an infection:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Stop or reduce your smoking habit
  • Avoid people who have flu symptoms
  • Stay out of crowded spaces

The team at Reliant MD Group can help you decide the best time to get flu shots for yourself and your family.