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How to Treat a Flu or Cold

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Having a cold or the flu will make anyone feel awful. The virus affects the upper respiratory tract in the human body.

Having a cold or the flu will make anyone feel awful. A cold is actually a viral infection. It causes sneezing, a bad sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose with congestion. The virus affects the upper respiratory tract in the human body. Similar to a cold, the flu is also a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract and portrays many symptoms similar to a cold. The term flu is short for influenza. Fever, body pains and aches and also a cough that may become severe normally will accompany the flu. Antibiotics administered by the doctors don't really provide a cure. This is because both infections are viral. It's advisable to treat these symptoms from home.

Medications

Over the counter pain relief can help ease the pain of having a sore throat and headaches that come with the flu and the cold. The most common medicine used is Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen. Children should never be given Aspirin. Aspirin may cause Reyes syndrome, a fatal disease for children. To treat a runny nose or for symptoms such as sneezing, an antihistamine is recommended. Antihistamine medication can cause drowsiness and make an individual very sleepy. Try to take it only at night. A treatment for stuffy nose would be to use a nasal spray. This will help unblock a stuffy nose because a nasal spray is actually a decongestant. For a cough that is very persistent, many resort to taking cough syrup. A study conducted by America College of Chest Physicians however think that it doesn't help much. Individuals who have a cough that drag on for weeks should see their medical practitioner. These are symptoms of bronchitis. Those with a virulent flu may be prescribed with an antiviral medication.

Alternatives

Alternative treatments are best when treated at the onset of the cold or flu. Studies have shown that taking vitamin C in large amounts does not protect you from falling sick. Vitamin C will however reduce the symptoms when you initially fall sick. The use of zinc sprays and lozenges also help to reduce symptoms of the cold and the flu.

Fluids

Most people infected with the flu or a cold, will lose their appetite. But it’s best to drink a lot of fluids. Water, juice and even broth will provide the essential nutrients your body need. And most of all it will help you stay hydrated. Chicken soup actually helps. This will break up congestion. Doctors believe that chicken soup actually increases nasal mucus flow and accelerates the body's immune system to quickly get rid of the germs.

Home Remedies

When treating a cold or the flu, rest is of utmost importance. But complications will still arise if one just lies down and do nothing. The cold and the flu are highly contagious illnesses. It’s best to stay home and prevent others from getting infected. Take a hot shower and try using saline nose drops. This will help break up congestion. If you have a sore throat, get some salt and mix it with a warm glass of water to gargle.

1 comment

Patrick Regoniel
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Posted on Dec 18, 2011

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Mohd Rizal Rushdi

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