Flu symptoms: Self-care for the flu

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Flu symptoms: Self-care for the flu


How do I know if I've caught the flu? Should I go to the doctor?

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Flu symptoms typically begin one or two days after your exposure to the virus, and may seem to hit you suddenly. Among healthy people, flu symptoms vary in severity. Flu symptoms include:

  • Fever, sometimes rising above 103 F (39.4 C)
  • Chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Eye redness and burning
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat

Flu symptoms can make you feel awful, but if you're basically healthy and you're not pregnant, take care of yourself at home rather than going to your doctor. Try these remedies:

  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) to reduce fever and muscle aches. Don't give products containing aspirin to children or young adults, as these drugs may cause Reye's syndrome.
  • Drink clear fluids, such as water, broth or sports drinks.
  • Rest as long as you continue to feel tired, and sleep as much as you can.
Last Updated: 2010-12-03
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