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Health Tips

Taming the Flu

Flu symptoms usually appear suddenly and may include fever exceeding 102 degrees, stuffy nose, fatigue, muscle aches, decreased appetite, nausea, chills and sweats, cough, and headache. Sunil Hebbar, MD, a South Bay-area family health practitioner, to share some of his top flu-fighting tips.

What’s the best way to prevent cold and flu?

It’s important to practice basic hand hygiene, by washing your hands regularly and using hand sanitizer, especially if you are in high exposure areas like schools and healthcare settings. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly will also help boost your body’s immune system and make you less susceptible to getting infections. And, of course, getting an annual flu shot is one of the best preventive measures you can take.

What are some common misconceptions that patients have about cold and flu?

One common misconception that is often heard is that the influenza vaccine can make you ill or catch the flu. This has not been scientifically proven. Other common misconceptions usually relate to the role of medications. Treatment for the common cold and flu is mainly supportive, including rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medicines that can provide symptomatic relief. Prescription medications are typically not needed, although antivirals can shorten the duration of the flu if caught early enough.