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Health

What to do if you have flu-like symptoms?

Dr Helen Horton

Dr Helen Horton is a GP in Distington. Here is her advice for if you think you have flu.

The symptoms of flu can come on very quickly and make you feel really rotten. It can usually be treated without seeing a GP and can take around a week before you start to feel better.

If you think you are coming down with flu the best thing to do is look after yourself at home and try not to go out and spread flu on to other people.

You might have a sudden fever, feel exhausted and achy all over. You’ll often have a sore throat and headache and might also have diarrhoea or tummy pain and possibly sickness.

The best advice is to rest and sleep, keep warm and take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat the aches and pains. You should make sure drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration – you want your urine to be light yellow or clear.

If you are worried and want advice about what to take to help you or a family member feel better, your community pharmacist can give treatment advice and recommend flu remedies.

There are times you might need extra advice or help:

  • if you’re worried about your baby’s or child’s symptoms, you are pregnant or over 65 years
  • you have a long-term medical condition – for example, diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
  • or you have a weakened immune system – for example, because of chemotherapy

You should seek help if your symptoms aren’t improving after 7 days or if your condition is worsening. For instance you may be becoming more breathless, have pain in your chest; you can’t keep fluids down or you aren’t passing urine. You can call NHS 111 which will be able to give you advice or arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.

Flu isn’t nice, so if you are eligible and haven’t had your flu jab yet please do!

Most of the time the symptoms of flu can be treated at home and we’d encourage you not to pass it on.

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