2015 – the year of the worst. flu. ever. I’m not a complainer and I have an extremely high tolerance to pain of any type but I can honestly say that this was the sickest I have ever been in my life. Days of fever and muscle aches, nights of chills and cold sweats…I was looking for a medal when I’d move from the bed to the couch, an impressive feat. Here are a few tips you may or may not have known about the flu to keep you from the same fate!
- The flu can be spread to others up to approximately 6 feet away.
- Most adults are contagious beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick.
- Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days.
- Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body.
This means that you could be contagious before you even know you’re sick. Don’t be that person in public who’s hacking up a lung and sneezing on everyone. It’s disgusting, annoying and unnecessary. If you’re sick, STAY HOME! We don’t want your disease. This especially applies to those of you in office environments (aka breeding grounds for infestation). To the woman sitting at the table next to me in the coffee shop who sounds like she’s about to keel over and die, I’m not telling you that “you don’t sound too good” because I’m concerned about your well-being…I’m telling you to leave and get the hell away from me.
If you have already fallen victim to the nastiest sickness of the decade, the remedies below might help relieve your symptoms but you are pretty much screwed and just have to ride it out. Also, a warning to those of you sitting on your high horse with your flu shots, word on the street is that this strain is one that is not included in the vaccine (supposedly your symptoms are less severe if you have the flu shot but I got a shot and I’m not sure I’m convinced).
- Stay in bed, rest and sleep!
- Stay well-hydrated by drinking at least 8 cups of water each day to keep your respiratory system hydrated and liquefy mucus build up.
- Drink hot liquids (preferable to cold liquids) to relieve nasal congestion and sooth inflamed nose and throat membranes. Lemon tea with a dollop of honey is my favorite!
- Gargle with salt dissolved in warm water to moisten a sore throat.
- Try nasal saline irrigation or saline sprays to thin mucus and decrease postnasal drip.
- Self-medicate with over the counter drugs. Daytime and nighttime cold relief, cough and throat drops are your best friend.
I’m also convinced that if you sleep with a peeled white onion cut in half in a bowl near your head when you sleep, it will absorb viruses and flu. The next morning, the onion will be black from absorbing the bacteria from your system. This has yet to be scientifically proven but onions were historically used in the early 1900’s in Europe to successfully fight off the plague and are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that help the body release toxins as well as quercitin (a powerful antioxidant linked to prevent numerous diseases). Onions also contain prostaglandin A, a strong vasodilator that aids in regulating blood pressure. They can prevent high cholesterol, break down fats, fight asthma, diabetes and nasal congestion.
Wash your hands often and stay healthy! Good luck and Godspeed.