Almost all of us have experienced it: empty offices and sniveling roommates. We are experiencing a flu epidemic in many countries. How can we relieve the symptoms, recover quickly, or perhaps even prevent getting the flu in the first place?

The flu wave that is currently circulating in many countries is no more serious than previous flu seasons. Presently, however, relatively many people are infected. Infections with the influenza virus usually cause fever, sore throat, cough, muscle pain, and general malaise.

Many people confuse the flu with the common cold. Flu, however, is more serious and usually accompanied by a fever. Colds are characterized by runny noses, sneezing, watery eyes, and sore throats. In most cases, a common cold is short-lived and does not cause complications, such as pneumonia.

It usually takes a few days for the flu to pass. It takes 3 to 5 days for the fever and pain to disappear. Drinking enough fluids is important, particularly if you are suffering from a fever that causes you to lose fluids. Regularly measuring our body temperature is therefore important. Use an easy-to-use thermometer like Exergen’s Temporal Artery Thermometer. This thermometer measures the temperature of the blood in the forehead artery by swiping it over the forehead. Our body temperature can be accurately measured at that location.

To relieve the symptoms, we can also take paracetamol. We cannot do much more than that, we simply have to wait for our immune system to kick in. It may take several weeks for you to get back to full fitness. Sometimes the coughing can last for a long time as well.

Is it possible to protect ourselves from a possible influenza infection? Staying away from people with the flu is the main remedy. This is difficult, if not impossible, in practice. People are already contagious a day before they really get sick. Most people are no longer contagious 5 to 9 days after becoming ill. Children can remain contagious for a longer period of time. So it is often a matter of luck (or bad luck) whether you contract the virus or not.

Flu viruses are spread from person to person via snot, mucus, and spit. It is therefore important to wash your hands as often as possible and also avoid touching your face. You should cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow. If you want to blow your nose, use a paper tissue and then throw it away. Flu shots can be obtained by the elderly or those in poor health. Regularly measuring our body temperature is also crucial. Because fever is an important difference between a common cold and the flu.