Scranton, Lackawanna County- With this year's widespread outbreak of the flu it seems as though the coughing, sneezing, and sniffling is inevitable, but once you contract the virus, how do you get rid of it quickly without spreading it to others?
Dr. Joseph Koval, Medical Director for Clinical Performance at Geisinger CMC says "usually the flu manifests itself by abrupt onset of fever, headache, the feeling of extreme tiredness, often associated with a dry cough, sore throat, and muscle aches." Dr. Koval has been treating influenza for years and says the best way to avoid it is by taking preventative measures like getting a flu shot, washing your hands, and avoiding anyone who is already sick.
We all know we should take preventative measures to keep from getting sick, but say you waited too long for those measures, what should you do to make sure you have a speedy recovery? Dr. Koval says "certainly, over the counter medications, such as acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, can be helpful in treating aches and pains as well as fever." He also recommends drinking plenty of fluids and although most of us think coffee, tea, or soda can help, he says not so fast "the recommendation is for anything that is non-caffeinated."
Finally when should you stay home or go back to work? "24 hours after your fever breaks and that means having a temperature lower than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It's safe enough to go back to work in terms of your colleagues and friends" says Dr. Koval. Treating yourself with these tips should bring you back to good health in no time, and Dr. Koval says you should feel better in just a few days. "Stay well hydrated, watch your temperature, and if it persist beyond 100 degrees or 101 then certainly seek medical attention," he says.
Dr. Koval adds there's still time to get a flu shot, as the season runs until May and the good news is this year's strain is in the flu vaccine.