How To Prevent, Treat, And Recover From The Flu

The flu can really knock you down. The symptoms can be severe, leaving you exhausted and achy. In this article, we’ll discuss the symptoms of the flu, how to tell if you have the flu versus COVID-19, prevention strategies like the flu shot, and treatments options. Read on to learn how to stop the flu in its tracks so you don’t end up feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus this flu season.

Recognizing Flu Symptoms

Some common flu symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The flu can make you feel completely wiped out and exhausted. Your muscles and joints may ache badly. Some people describe flu symptoms as feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus. This isn’t your average cold – flu symptoms are more severe and can last for several days.

How do you know if it’s the flu and not COVID-19? With both viruses circulating this season, it can be hard to tell based on symptoms alone. Cough, fever, fatigue, sore throat, headache, and muscle aches can all occur with both illnesses. The best way to know is to get tested. Contact your doctor right away if you suspect you have the flu or COVID-19. Testing is important to determine which virus you have so you can take the appropriate actions for prevention and treatment.

Taking Action: Flu Treatment Options

While getting plenty of rest and fluids is important when you have the flu, there are also prescription antiviral medications that can help. Antiviral flu medications like Tamiflu can shorten the duration of flu symptoms and may also make them milder. The key is taking them early on, so contact your doctor right away if you think you have the flu. Prescription antiviral medications can help you recover faster so you miss less work, school, and life activities when the flu strikes.

Defend Yourself: Flu Prevention Tips

The first line of defense against the misery of the flu is to get vaccinated. The flu shot is your best bet for avoiding the flu. Contrary to popular myths, the flu shot does not cause flu illness. It primes your immune system to fight off the flu virus so you don’t get sick. Make plans to get your annual flu shot if you haven’t already. It’s quick, easy, and offers excellent protection against the circulating flu viruses.

In addition to vaccination, follow these tips to avoid catching the flu:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow – not your hands! Dispose of used tissues immediately.
  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap is unavailable.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent germ transmission.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, counters, keyboards and phones regularly.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are already sick. Stay home when you are ill.
  • Use a paper towel to open bathroom doors and other public surfaces then dispose of it immediately.

Following flu prevention basics like washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, avoiding germs, and getting the flu shot are your best strategies for staying healthy this flu season.

Flu Recovery: Returning To Health

If you do catch the flu, take it easy and focus on recovery. Get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve symptoms, but check with your doctor first. Follow their guidance regarding prescription antiviral medications, which can shorten the duration of the flu.

Listen to your body and allow enough time for recovery before returning to work or normal activity. Going back too soon can prolong your illness. Avoid close contact with others until your fever has resolved for at least 24 hours so you don’t spread the flu.

With vaccination, good hygiene, prompt treatment, and adequate rest, you can bounce back from the flu quickly. Taking these proactive steps means you’re less likely to feel like you got hit by a bus! Take charge of your health this season and don’t let the flu knock you down.


While the flu can make you feel miserable, there are many things you can do to prevent it and reduce symptom severity. Get your annual flu shot, be diligent about handwashing and surface disinfecting, and see your doctor right away if you think you have the flu for prompt antiviral treatment. With these tips, you can stay healthy and avoid feeling like you’ve been hit by a bus this flu season.