Spring and summer are synonymous with sunny days, outdoor activities, and the joy of being in the warm weather. However, it’s also a time when the last thing anyone wants is to fall victim to sneaks up on you – a nasty cold or flu.
Summer colds and flus rear their heads for a number of reasons including seasonal changes and better conditions for a virus to spread – ie. more people traveling and gathering in crowds than in Winter.
If you happen to catch a summer flu or cold, here are some tips to manage them:
Rest and hydration
One of the most crucial steps in managing a cold or flu is getting enough rest. Your body needs time to heal, and a lack of sleep can prolong your recovery. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, herbal teas, and electrolyte-rich fluids like sports drinks to combat dehydration.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can help alleviate symptoms like congestion, fever, and body aches. Common OTC options include acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and pain, decongestants, and cough syrups. Always follow the recommended dosages and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.
Honey and ginger
Natural remedies like honey and ginger can be soothing for a sore throat and cough. A warm honey and ginger tea can provide relief while also boosting your immune system.
Inhaling steam can help relieve nasal congestion and make breathing more comfortable. You can do this by filling a bowl with hot water, placing your face over it, and inhaling the steam. Be cautious not to burn yourself and always supervise children.
Eating a nutritious diet can help your immune system function optimally. Consume fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Avoid excessive sugar and processed foods, as they can weaken your immune response.
Avoid spreading germs
To prevent spreading the illness to others, practice good hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, wash your hands regularly, and dispose of tissues properly. Stay home from work or social gatherings until you are no longer contagious.
If you must be outside, protect yourself from the sun. Sunscreen, a hat, and lightweight, breathable clothing are essential to avoid overheating and further weakening your body.
Seek medical attention
If your symptoms worsen or persist beyond a week, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional. They can determine if you have a more serious infection or if your symptoms are indicative of something else.
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