Q: What is the remedy for severe flu? – D. I.
A: Without knowing exactly what is meant by “severe,” my first answer is go to the ER. People do not realize that nearly 56000 people died from flu and pneumonia in 2013.
If you have been diagnosed with the flu and it is in the early stages (first 2 days) your doctor may prescribe Tamiflu (antiviral medication). You can treat your symptoms with over-the-counter medications and some home remedies:
- Get plenty of rest
- Drink clear fluids like water, broth, sports drinks or electrolyte beverages to avoid becoming dehydrated
- A cool damp washcloth on your forehead, arms and legs to reduce discomfort associated with a fever
- Sleep with a humidifier in the room to make breathing easier
- Gargle salt water (1:1 ratio warm water to salt) to soothe sore throat
- Cover up with warm blankets to calm chills
- Decongestants can help with congestion from stuffy nose, sinuses, ears, and chests
- Cough medicine, cough drops and throat lozenges can help treat coughing and sore throat
- Fevers and aches can be treated with ibuprofen, acetaminophen or any NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug)
If you are prescribed medication by the doctor it is not a good idea to take over-the-counter medicine as well because they may contain the same ingredients and too much can be toxic.