I’m sure my absence must have brought up questions to all of my loyal followers. I sure hope so. ~~~~ : – O
I wish I could say I was on vacation exploring and learning about new cultures and foods. Instead, I have been in a medicine coma to relieve the horrific systems of the flu.
Influenza, commonly known as “the flu”, is an infectious disease of birds and mammals caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae, the influenza viruses. information from wikipedia
The flu virus is spread like most other viruses through contact with infected individuals. This disease can be transmitted through airborne contact too, such as when a person sneezes or coughs or through contact with contaminated surfaces.
It can be difficult to distinguish between the common cold and influenza in the early stages of these infections, but the flu can be identified by a high fever with a sudden onset of extreme fatigue. The other known symptoms are chills, fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache (often severe), coughing, nausea, vomiting, weakness/fatigue and general discomfort.
Influenza can occasionally lead to pneumonia, either direct viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia, even for persons who are usually very healthy. Because I had been hospitalized with pneumonia in July, bacterial pneumonia added to the rest of the intolerable flu symptoms I had had. A good warning sign of this is you’re getting better and then a relapse with a high fever occurs. Of course, difficulty breathing is another severe sign.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a pill or a liquid you can take that will “cure” you of the flu. Penicillin and other antibiotics won’t work, because they only kill bacteria, and the flu is caused by a virus. There are, however, a few approved antiviral drugs that have shown to shorten the duration of the illness.
The best advice for treating the flu is to rest and drink plenty of liquids. Over-the-counter cold and flu remedies can alleviate some of the symptoms, at least temporarily. Aspirin may relieve fever and aches. Information from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm
1. Breathe steam: fill a bowl or sink with steaming hot water, and add one of the following: a couple teaspoonful’s of chopped fresh ginger, a bit of chest rub ointment, or a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Drape a towel over the head and the bowl and breathe the steam for a few minutes. All of these may help to open up stuffy nasal passages.
2. Drink Fluids: drink a lot of liquids. Try to get at least 8 cups a day. Staying hydrated helps to keep mucous secretions thinner and therefore easier to cough, sneeze or blow out. Some research shows that hot liquids might be more effective for this than cold ones, but the main point is to get the fluids in no matter the temperature. Water, juices, and sports drinks such as Gatorade are the best.
3. Avoid anything with caffeine or alcohol, as they are dehydrating. Use moist heat compresses. For a throbbing head and difficulty breathing through the nose, relief may be had by applying warm, moist compresses to the cheeks and sinuses. Try nasal saline irrigation or saline sprays. These can thin mucus, decrease postnasal drip and add moisture to dried mucous membranes. In addition, the nasal rinse helps to remove virus particles and bacteria from the nose.
4. For a cough: some studies have shown that a teaspoon of honey is as effective as over-the-counter cough syrups for calming a nagging cough.
5. Fever Relief and Body Aches: a fever is the body’s natural way to fight off an infection. If the fever is more than 101 degrees, a doctor visit is a good choice.
6. Rest, rest and more rest is how the body heals itself.
***** Please be patient while I try to catch up on all of your wonderful recent posts.