Self-management

If you do come down with the flu, these measures may help ease your symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of liquids. Choose water, juice and warm soups to prevent dehydration.
  • Rest. Get more sleep to help your immune system fight infection.
  • Consider pain relievers. Use an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), to combat the achiness associated with influenza. Don't give aspirin to children or teens because of the risk of Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal condition.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone over the age of 6 months.

Each year's seasonal flu vaccine contains protection from the three or four influenza viruses that are expected to be the most common during that year's flu season. The vaccine is currently available as an injection only. The CDC no longer recommends nasal spray flu vaccinations because during recent flu seasons, the spray has been relatively ineffective.

Oct. 05, 2017
References
  1. Kasper DL, et al., eds. Influenza. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed July 19, 2017.
  2. Dolin R. Clinical manifestations of seasonal influenza in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed July 19, 2017.
  3. Zachary KC. Treatment of seasonal influenza in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed July 19, 2017.
  4. Goldman L, et al., eds. Influenza. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 19, 2017.
  5. The flu: What to do if you get sick. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm. Accessed July 19, 2017.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, et al. Prevention and control of influenza with vaccines: Recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices, United States, 2017-18 influenza season. MMWR. 2017;66:1. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/rr/rr6602a1.htm. Accessed Aug. 24, 2017.