About all

How long to get rid of the flu: How Long Should I Stay Home With a Cold or the Flu?


How Long Should I Stay Home With a Cold or the Flu?

You’ve been home sick a couple days, and there’s only so much daytime television you can take. You’re ready to go back to work.

But common colds and the flu are very contagious. There are millions of cases of these upper respiratory infections every year. And colds are the biggest reason kids miss school and adults miss work.

If you’ve been sick with a cold or flu, how long are you supposed to stay home, and when should you go back to your everyday routine?

How Long to Stay Home

Experts generally agree that it’s best to stay home as long as you have severe symptoms, like a cough with mucus, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or fatigue, because you may be contagious. And the CDC recommends staying home at least 24 hours after your fever goes away unless you need to leave the house for medical care or other urgent reasons.

Also, rest is an important part of getting over any illness, so there’s another reason to take it easy while you feel sick.

How quickly you recover from a cold or the flu depends on how healthy you are. In general, healthy people usually get over a cold in 7 to 10 days. Flu symptoms, including fever, should go away after about 5 days, but you may still have a cough and feel weak a few days longer. All your symptoms should be gone within 1 to 2 weeks.

When you go back to work or school, make sure to cover your mouth when you cough and wash your hands often so you don’t spread the illness to other people.

These viruses can develop into serious illnesses like pneumonia in people who have weak immune systems, asthma, or other respiratory conditions. So if you have a chronic illness, your healing time may be different.

How Colds and Flu Spread

Colds are most contagious in the first 2 to 4 days after symptoms start. But they can spread up to a few weeks after that. Your symptoms will usually show up 2 to 3 days after you’ve been infected, so you may not know you’re sick when you first get the virus.

You can give other people your cold just by being around them. Your sneezes and coughs can send virus particles as far as 12 feet through the air where they can land in someone’s mouth or nose or be inhaled into the lungs. Others can also catch your cold if they touch you or something you’ve come into contact with and then touch their mouth or nose.

Like the common cold, the flu is caused by a virus, and it’s likely to spread through coughs, sneezes, or even talking. Those actions can send droplets up to 6 feet away. It’s also possible to get the flu by touching something with the virus on it and then touching your mouth or nose, but that’s less likely.

You can be contagious before you even know you’re sick. The virus usually enters your body 1 to 4 days before you have any symptoms, and you can give it to someone a day before you feel anything up to 5 to 7 days after. And kids are contagious even longer. They can spread the virus for another week.

Some people never show symptoms but can still give it to others.

Any Time Your Child Is Sick

If your child is sick, it’s best for them to stay home until they feel well again. If they have a fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or any kind of pain, aren’t hungry, or seem extra tired or clingy, they should stay home.

How do you know when to keep your child home from school? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you answer a few key questions:

  1. Does your child have a fever? Fevers of 101 F or more are generally a sign of illness, so children should stay home.
  2. Is your child well enough to participate in class? If they seem too run-down to get much out of their lessons, keep them home.
  3. Do they have an illness like the flu or pinkeye? If you think they might, don’t let them go back to school until you know they’re not contagious anymore. If possible, have them attend online classes.

Check with your child’s day care or school before you send them back to their regular schedules. Many places have rules about how long kids need to stay home. Usually it’s at least a full day after they don’t have any fever without medication.

Here’s what you need to keep an eye on:

Fever is a sign that your body is fighting the germs that are making you sick. It’s a common symptom of infections like flu. If it’s 101 F or higher, wait until your child is fever-free for at least 24 hours before sending them back to school.

Diarrhea happens because of an infection, food poisoning, or medications like antibiotics. It can lead to dehydration, so give them a lot of fluids to drink. Keep your child home until their stools are solid and your doctor gives the OK.

Vomiting is another way our bodies get rid of germs. It’s usually caused by a stomach virus or infection. Keep your child at home if they have vomited twice or more in the last 24 hours. They can go back to school after their symptoms clear up or the doctor says they’re no longer contagious.

Severe cough and cold symptoms should keep your child home. A serious cough could be a symptom of contagious conditions like whooping cough, viral bronchitis, or croup. It can also be a warning sign of asthma or allergies.

Sore throats can be a symptom of a common cold or strep. If they have a mild cold, they can go to school. If your child has been diagnosed with strep throat, keep them at home for at least 24 hours after they start antibiotics.

Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is contagious, and a child should stay home for the first 24 hours after treatment begins. Symptoms include eye redness, irritation, swelling, and pus.

Headaches can be a symptom of contagious illnesses like the stomach flu, flu, meningitis, and strep throat. Experts disagree on whether a child should be kept home. If they don’t have any other signs of illness and feel fine, they can go to school.

Rashes can be a sign of contagious illnesses like chickenpox, bacterial meningitis, or impetigo (a skin infection). Keep your child home until they’ve been diagnosed. They can head back to the classroom after their symptoms are gone and the doctor gives the OK.

Ear infections aren’t contagious. There’s no need to keep a child with a mild earache home, as long as they feel well enough to concentrate.

Mild cold or respiratory symptoms don’t have to sideline your kid, but keep in mind that even if their nose runs clear and their cough is mild, they may pass the virus to somebody else.

How long does the flu last?

The best treatment is to take steps to prevent illness.

Few common illnesses are more unpleasant than the flu. The aches and pains, chills, fever, and cough are bad enough; add in the other potential symptoms of flu, including runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, or sore throat, and you’ll want the illness to be over as soon as possible. How long does the flu last? And does treating flu help make it go away faster? The answers depend on your particular health.

Understanding flu

The flu—or influenza—is a highly contagious respiratory virus caused by one of three different virus types: influenza A, B, or C. The main way that illnesses like colds and the flu spread from person to person is through the droplets that sick people propel when they cough and sneeze. You can also get the flu by exposure to saliva passed by routine contact, such as kissing or sharing eating utensils.

How long does the flu last?

For most healthy people, the flu is an uncomfortable but short-term illness that resolves itself as the immune system fights it off. Symptoms usually appear from one to four days after exposure to the virus, and they last five to seven days. For people who’ve had a flu shot, the symptoms may last a shorter amount of time, or be less severe. For other people, the symptoms may last longer. Even when symptoms resolve, you may continue to feel fatigued.

Some people are at increased risk for complications from influenza. These people include:

  • the very young
  • people 65 or older
  • people with chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, HIV, or diabetes
  • pregnant women
  • people with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher

People in those groups may have weakened immune systems, and are at increased risk for the complication of pneumonia, which can be deadly.

Treating flu

If you get the flu, you should get rest and drink plenty of fluids. Take pain relievers to lower your fever and relieve the aches, such as:

  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • naproxen (Aleve)

If you are at high risk of complications, and if it is early in the infection, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug for treating flu, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu, generic versions).


To better predict how long the flu will last, take steps to reduce your risk of contracting the virus and experiencing severe symptoms. Consider the following steps, as suggested in the Harvard Special Report A Guide to Women’s Health: Fifty and Forward.

  • Get an annual flu vaccine.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before eating or touching your face.
  • Contact your doctor for promptly if you get flu symptoms.
  • Quit smoking. Smokers are more likely to get the flu than nonsmokers.

These steps won’t guarantee that you’ll escape the flu this year, but they may help prevent it. And they may help reduce the amount of time the flu lasts if you do become infected with the virus.

– By Heidi Godman
Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter


Dispel misinformation about the flu vaccine, sickness, treatment, and recovery by finding out these 10 Flu Myths.

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content.
Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date,
should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick

Influenza (flu) can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

What should I do if I get sick?

Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.

If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider (doctor, physician assistant, etc.).

Certain people are at high risk of serious flu-related complications (including young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions). This is true both for seasonal flu and novel flu virus infections. (For a full list of people at high risk of flu-related complications, see People at High Risk of Developing Flu–Related Complications). If you are in a high risk group and develop flu symptoms, it’s best for you to contact your doctor early in your illness. Remind them about your high risk status for flu. CDC recommends that people at high risk for complications should get antiviral treatment as early as possible, because benefit is greatest if treatment is started within 2 days after illness onset.

Do I need to go to the emergency room if I am only a little sick?

No. The emergency room should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill.

If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the emergency room. If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at high risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider for advice. If you go to the emergency room and you are not sick with the flu, you may catch it from people who do have it.

People experiencing these warning signs should obtain medical care right away.

In children
  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Ribs pulling in with each breath
  • Chest pain
  • Severe muscle pain (child refuses to walk)
  • Dehydration (no urine for 8 hours, dry mouth, no tears when crying)
  • Not alert or interacting when awake
  • Seizures
  • Fever above 104°F
  • In children less than 12 weeks, any fever
  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions
In adults
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Persistent dizziness, confusion, inability to arouse
  • Seizures
  • Not urinating
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Severe weakness or unsteadiness
  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

These lists are not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.

Flu | NHS inform

Flu (influenza) is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It can be very unpleasant, but you’ll usually begin to feel better within about a week.

You can catch flu all year round, but it’s especially common in winter, which is why it’s also known as seasonal flu.

Flu isn’t the same as the common cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses and the symptoms tend to start more suddenly, be more severe and last longer.

Flu symptoms

Some of the main symptoms of flu include:

  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • tiredness and weakness
  • a headache
  • general aches and pains
  • a dry, chesty cough

Cold-like symptoms, such as a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, and a sore throat, can also be caused by flu, but they tend to be less severe than the other symptoms you have.

Flu can make you feel so exhausted and unwell that you have to stay in bed and rest until you feel better.

Read more about the symptoms of flu

What to do

If you’re otherwise fit and healthy, there’s usually no need to see your GP if you have flu-like symptoms.


The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower a high temperature and relieve aches if necessary.

Stay off work or school until you’re feeling better. For most people, this will take about a week.

Read more about treating flu at home

When to see your GP

Consider visiting your GP if:

  • you’re 65 years of age or over
  • you’re pregnant
  • you have a long-term medical condition – such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease or a neurological disease
  • you have a weakened immune system – for example because you’re having chemotherapy or have HIV
  • you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or start coughing up blood
  • your symptoms are getting worse over time or haven’t improved after a week

In these situations, you may need medication to treat or prevent complications of flu. Your GP may recommend taking antiviral medicine to reduce your symptoms and help you recover more quickly.

Read more about antiviral medication for flu

How long does flu last and is it serious?

If you have flu, you generally start to feel ill within a few days of being infected.

You should begin to feel much better within a week or so, although you may feel tired for much longer.

You’ll usually be most infectious from the day your symptoms start and for a further 3 to 7 days. Children and people with weaker immune systems may remain infectious for longer.

Most people will make a full recovery and won’t experience any further problems, but elderly people and people with certain long-term medical conditions are more likely to have a bad case of flu or develop a serious complication, such as a chest infection.

Read more about the complications of flu

How you catch flu

The flu virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.

These droplets typically spread about one metre. They hang suspended in the air for a while before landing on surfaces, where the virus can survive for up to 24 hours.

Anyone who breathes in the droplets can catch flu. You can also catch the virus by touching the surfaces that the droplets have landed on if you pick up the virus on your hands and then touch your nose or mouth.

Everyday items at home and in public places can easily become contaminated with the flu virus, including food, door handles, remote controls, handrails, telephone handsets and computer keyboards. Therefore, it’s important to wash your hands frequently.

You can catch flu many times because flu viruses change regularly and your body won’t have a natural resistance to the new versions.

Preventing the spread of flu

You can help stop yourself catching flu or spreading it to others with good hygiene measures.

Always wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, as well as:

  • regularly cleaning surfaces such as your computer keyboard, telephone and door handles to get rid of germs
  • using tissues to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
  • putting used tissues in a bin as soon as possible

You can also help stop the spread of flu by avoiding unnecessary contact with other people while you’re infectious. You should stay off work or school until you’re feeling better.

In some people at risk of more serious flu, an annual flu vaccine or antiviral medication may be recommended to help reduce the risk of becoming infected.

Read more about how to stop the spread of flu

What’s the difference between a cold and a flu?

How Long Does the Flu Last? 14 Flu FAQs Answered

When the winds blow colder and the days grow shorter, you know that flu season is imminent. It’s the sickness we dread with each doorknob we touch and each time we hear a coworker cough.

In the spirit of flu season, we’re here to answer some of your most pressing questions about the virus: How long does the flu last? Is there any way to prevent it? Do you really need a flu shot?

We spoke with medical professionals and consulted the holy grail of health care, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to answer all of your flu FAQs. Keep reading to hear how you can protect yourself and your family this flu season.

14 of your most pressing flu FAQs answered

1. Should I get a flu shot?

The simple answer is yes – you should absolutely get a flu shot. Everyone ages six months and older is recommended to get one, with some exceptions, according to the CDC.

Getting a flu shot lowers your risk of getting sick with the flu and needing hospitalization. It is especially important if you have chronic health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, or chronic lung disease. Pregnant women or women who recently gave birth should also get a flu shot to protect themselves and their babies.

Millions of people get the flu and hundreds of thousands are hospitalized because of it each year. And thousands die annually because of the flu. When more people get a flu vaccination, the virus spreads less through communities. When more people get their flu shot, it also helps vulnerable populations at risk of the flu, such as young children and older adults.

2. Who should

not get a flu shot?

While the flu shot is almost universally recommended, the CDC does identify a few groups of people who should not get a flu shot. It is not recommended for the following groups to get flu shots:

• Those under six months of age

• Those with severe allergies to gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients in the vaccine

There are some cases in which patients should consult their doctor before getting a flu shot:

• Those who have had Guillain-Barré Syndrome

• Those with egg allergies

• Those who are currently sick

3. When should I get a flu shot?

It turns out that timing does matter when it comes to getting your flu shot. The sooner you can get a flu shot, the better. The CDC recommends getting a flu shot before the end of October. However, getting vaccinated through January or later can still be beneficial.

4. How does the flu shot work?

Researchers predict which flu virus will be most prominent in the upcoming flu season. The flu vaccines are created to fight off these specific strains of the flu. Because there is no way to make an exact prediction, sometimes the flu vaccine is a partial match for that year’s strain.

“Even if the flu vaccine is not a perfect match for this year’s flu strain, a partial match can still give you some important protection,” says Laurie Endicott Thomas, MA, ELS, and author. She explains that you may still experience flu-like symptoms, but it can significantly reduce the risk of being hospitalized or fatality from the flu.

“Even if the flu vaccine is not a perfect match for this year’s flu strain, a partial match can still give you some important protection.

When you get a flu shot, your body goes into action to ward off against it. A flu shot encourages the recipient to create antibodies. These antibodies protect the body against infection of the vaccine virus.

5. Can the flu shot make you sick?

A common misconception is that the flu shot makes you sick. The CDC asserts that the flu shot cannot give you the flu. At worst, you may feel a few minor side effects a few days after receiving your vaccination. This is because flu shots are made either with no virus at all or with an inactivated virus, meaning it is not infectious.

There are a few side effects some people encounter after a flu shot, which are described below, but these are minor and will subside on their own. The reality is that even if you do experience side effects from a flu shot, they are much less severe than the effects of contracting the virus itself.


What are some common flu shot side effects?

Some people do experience side effects after getting their flu shot. Of those who do, they are usually very mild and diminish on their own. The CDC outlines a few of the more common flu shot side effects:

• Soreness or swelling from the shot

• Headache

• Nausea

• Muscle ache

• Fever

These flu shot side effects are perfectly normal. However, there are a few other flu shot side effects that are not as common. These are very rare and may indicate an allergic reaction:

• Wheezing or difficulty breathing

• Swelling around the eyes or lips

• Hives or paleness

• Fast heartbeat

• Dizziness or weakness

7. Are flu shots safe?

Flu shots hold an excellent safety record, according to the CDC. For more than the past 50 years, hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu shots. Flu shots come with minimal risks and help ward off the virus — both to protect yourself and the people around you. It is the single best way to avoid catching the flu and spreading it along to others.

8. Is the flu shot necessary?

You are by no means forced to get a flu shot. However, health professionals highly recommend it. A common misconception, particularly among those ages 18 – 49, is that you don’t need a flu shot. Studies have found this age group is the least likely to get vaccinated. Those ages 65 and older are the most likely to get their flu shot.

“Influenza vaccination is important even for healthy people,” Thomas says. “Many people think the flu is a minor illness. However, even a healthy young person can have a severe reaction to this infection. When sick or elderly people get the flu, they may die of additional complications, such as bacterial pneumonia.”

“Influenza vaccination is important even for healthy people.

Anyone, even those with strong immune systems, can get the flu. Even if you think don’t need a flu shot, getting one can help prevent you from transmitting the flu to others. The more citizens who get their flu shot, the less risk there is for the entire community.

9. How can you prevent the flu?

A flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu. Practicing preventative habits can also cut down on your chances of exposing yourself to the flu.

“Germs like the flu spread when people touch their eyes, nose, mouth, or even the food that they eat,” explains Dr. Tyeese L. Gaines, board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician and Medical Director of UltraMed Urgent Care in Skokie, Illinois. “It’s a good habit to always wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, but especially during flu season. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.”

The CDC advises you utilize several health habits to protect yourself:

• Avoid close contact with those who are sick

• Wash your hands thoroughly and often

• Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth — especially when in public

• Disinfect surfaces, especially if someone is sick

• Eat well and get enough sleep

• Stay hydrated

You can also prevent the flu by stopping the spread of germs to others. Always cover your coughs and sneezes. And should you come down with the flu yourself, stay home to avoid spreading the virus.

10. What are common flu symptoms?

If you suspect you’re coming down with the flu, there are several signs to look for. The CDC lists these as the most common symptoms:

• Fever or chills (though not everyone will experience this symptom)

• Cough and sore throat

• Runny or stuffy nose

• Muscle aches

• Headaches

• Fatigue

11. Cold vs. flu: What is the difference?

The common cold and the flu are often confused due to their similar symptoms. But the CDC notes one main difference between the two: The cold and the flu are caused by two different types of viruses.

In general, the symptoms of the flu are more severe and more common. Colds are typically milder. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose than those with the flu. They are also much less likely to experience serious complications requiring hospitalization, such as pneumonia or bacterial infections.

12. How long does the flu last?

The flu typically lasts three to seven days, according to the CDC. Serious complications of the flu, such as pneumonia, can take longer to recover from. Some symptoms, such as a cough, can persist for more than two weeks.

Even if you have a quick recovery from the flu, you can still infect others five to seven days after becoming sick. You can even pass the sickness along before you feel any symptoms.

13. How can you treat the flu?

For most people, the flu is mild enough that it does not require medical treatment. The flu will typically run its course within a week. However, sometimes the flu can make people very sick, especially if they are a high-risk population, such as very young children or the elderly.

A doctor can prescribe you antiviral drugs to help you recover more quickly. They can also lessen the severity of your symptoms. Antiviral drugs are most effective when they are taken within two days of falling ill.

14. Are there any home remedies for flu?

Just because you have the flu doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. Here are a few ways to help yourself feel better as your body recovers:

• Take a fever-reducing medicine

• Stay hydrated with plenty of water and other clear liquids

• Get lots of rest

• Try a humidifier to help your congestion

• Add honey to tea for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties

• Add lemon juice to water for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties

• Try salt water nose rinsing or gargling for congestion and sore throat relief

• Elevate your head with an extra pillow

Facing the flu

Now that you know how long the flu lasts, what symptoms to watch for, and what you can do to prevent it, you should be better equipped to stay healthy throughout the season.

Being vigilant about healthy habits is one thing to practice, but it can only do so much. Never forget your first line of defense: the flu shot. It’s simply the best way to protect yourself and the people in your community.

Be sure to follow The SGU Pulse for more on health, wellness, and medicine.

TAGS: doctor advice, medical conditions

Aches Caused by the Flu: Risk Factors and Treatment

One of the most distinct symptoms of the flu (influenza) is painful body aches. For most people, their muscles feel so sore and achy it hurts to move. Additionally, body aches can leave you feeling weak, fatigued, and extremely exhausted. Fortunately, they can be treated and managed successfully. 

Verywell / Michela Buttignol


When a person gets the flu, natural chemicals are released in the body to help it fight off the infection.  Muscle aches and pain are produced by this immune response. While it may not feel like it, body aches are a good sign because your body is doing what it is supposed to do to help you get better.

Dehydration may also contribute to body aches when you have the flu. The body always needs water to prevent muscle cramping and soreness, and this is even more important when you are sick. 

Risk Factors

Some people experience aches and pains every time they get the flu, while others rarely do. Older adults and people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases, tend to experience more aches when they have the flu because their bodies have a harder time fighting off the infection. Anytime the body has to work harder, more aches and pains are experienced.

People who live in colder climates may experience more body aches with the flu as well. When the body is exposed to cold temperatures, it is more prone to soreness. The flu also makes the body’s resistance to cold temperatures weaker than it usually is.

Is It the Flu?

In addition to body aches, common flu symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, and fatigue. Some people may have a fever, and less commonly, vomiting or diarrhea.


There are several things you can do to help manage your body aches as you try to recover from the flu. 

Take a Pain Reliever

Over-the-counter pain relievers may help make you more comfortable. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are more likely to help with aches than other pain relievers like Tylenol (acetaminophen). Examples of NSAIDs include Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen), aspirin, and Aleve (naproxen).

If you can’t take NSAID pain relievers due to kidney problems, stomach issues, or other medical concerns, talk to your healthcare provider about alternative treatments for your body aches.

Aspirin should not be given to children under age 18, especially when they have the flu, due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome.

Stay Hydrated

When you’re sick with a flu or fever, your body tends to lose a lot more fluids due to excess sweating, and in some cases, vomiting or diarrhea. Drinking lots of clear liquids to restore bodily fluids is an important part of helping your body fight infection.

To help your body stay hydrated, drink plenty of water, broth, tea, electrolyte drinks, and sports drinks, and choose soup if you’re having trouble eating as well.

Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep plays a big role in regulating many of the immune functions that are necessary for healing and reducing inflammation in the body. Painful body aches may even make resting uncomfortable, but forcing yourself to relax when you have the flu is important. Getting as much sleep and rest as you can gives your body the best chance to fight off the infection.

Apply Heat or Take a Warm Bath

A warm bath or shower can help loosen your muscles and relieve body pain, but if you have a fever, the water should be kept lukewarm to avoid raising your temperature. Since fevers can cause dizziness and general weakness, it’s best to avoid showering if you are experiencing these symptoms. Children with a fever or cold symptoms should also be monitored when taking a shower or bath to avoid injury.

Heating pads and heated blankets can relieve some of your pain. Be careful not to use excessive heat to avoid burns, and consider setting a timer if there’s a chance you might fall asleep.

Ease Aches With a Massage

Though receiving a massage won’t likely cure your flu overnight, it can indirectly help you recover faster. In addition to alleviating body aches, massage therapy can reduce levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that weakens your immunity by impairing certain infection-fighting white blood cells.

Many massage therapists do not treat people when they are sick, but a friend or family member can lend a hand as well. Massaging with topical relief creams may improve blood flow and further ease your aches; just keep in mind that flu viruses are contagious, and anyone who gives you a massage could be put at risk.

Use a Vaporizer or Humidifier

Dry air can increase your risk of catching flu-like pathogens or make your flu symptoms worse. When a flu virus enters your respiratory tract, it gets caught in mucus, which helps prevent infection from spreading. However, when the air is cold and dry, mucus dries up in your airways, making it more difficult for your body to fend the virus off.

Maintaining a relative humidity of 40-60% can reduce the spread of transmission through your home and relieve respiratory symptoms, such as cough and nasal congestion. It can also help fast-track your healing by reducing pain and inflammation in your throat and helping you sleep better.

When to See a Doctor

Although body aches are normal with the flu, if they become more severe than you would expect, you should contact your doctor.

You should also seek medical attention for muscle aches if:

  • There are signs of infection, such as redness or swelling, around a muscle
  • There is poor circulation in the area that hurts (for example, your legs)
  • You have recently been bitten by a tick
  • Pain doesn’t improve within three days

Call 911 or go to your local emergency room if:

  • You have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • You have muscle weakness or cannot move part of your body
  • You have vomiting, a stiff neck, and fever

Some people, especially children, may experience very painful leg cramps with the flu. Leg cramps can be so painful that walking is difficult or accompanied by a limp. If your child is complaining of leg pain in his or her calves or refuses to walk, contact your family’s pediatrician to determine if an evaluation and treatment are necessary.

Could It Be Something Else?

The flu virus can sometimes be confused for other conditions, such as pneumonia. If you have a cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, fatigue, and low appetite, in addition to a sharp chest pain, a fever that doesn’t go away, or you are coughing up a lot of phlegm, see your doctor to rule pneumonia out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does COVID-19 cause body aches?

Yes, COVID-19 can cause body aches. Usually, this symptom follows the onset of a cough and fever. To ease these symptoms, you may be able to take over-the-counter acetaminophen but talk to your doctor to be sure.

How long does it take to get over flu symptoms?

It should take three to seven days to recover from the flu if you have no other health issues. However, older adults, infants, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions may recover more slowly and are at risk for complications and additional health problems.

A Word From Verywell

Flu symptoms can vary depending on the strain of the flu and the person who is sick. For many people, the stages of the flu begin with body aches, which are one of the most common flu symptoms. When everything from your head and neck to your legs feels sore, it can be very difficult to relax and take care of yourself. Do your best to relieve the pain and support your immune system, and take comfort in knowing that with time and TLC, you’ll be ache-free and on your way.

History of the Flu: 18 Key Moments in Its Treatment and Prevention

When most people think of the flu these days, they may consider it more of a temporary inconvenience than a deadly virus. But a century ago, that most certainly wasn’t the case.

Last year marked the 100th anniversary of the devastating flu pandemic of 1918, which claimed the lives of an estimated 50 million people worldwide.

Since then the scientific community has made great strides when it comes to helping prevent the spread of the influenza virus, but there is still work to be done: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu was responsible for an estimated 38,000 deaths in the United States alone during the 2016-2017 flu season, and an even greater number were hospitalized with the illness.

We take a look at how far researchers around the globe have come in battling this foe—and explore current research at Johnson & Johnson that has the potential to pave the way for a flu-free world.

  • Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives


    Johnson & Johnson Debuts Mass-Produced Needles and Syringes

    Fifteen years before the deadly 1918 flu pandemic swept the world, Johnson & Johnson recognized that injectable medications and vaccines would become a crucial tool for rapidly delivering treatments into the bloodstream and began selling hypodermic needles that fit a standard syringe (shown at right).

    This was forward-thinking for the time, since most drugs were ingested rather than injected, and injections were an advance over earlier vaccination methods. These tools would soon become critical instruments enabling doctors to administer the influenza vaccine.

    Read More

  • Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives


    The Spanish Flu Pandemic Strikes

    This flu pandemic was the deadliest in modern history, infecting an estimated 500 million people worldwide and killing up to 50 million—an even more devastating death toll than World War I. More than 25% of the U.S. population became sick.

    Johnson & Johnson played a key role in helping to prevent the spread of the virus by introducing the epidemic mask, made from sterile gauze. It proved so effective that it was also used in later outbreaks.

    Read More

  • 1933

    Scientists Isolate the Human Influenza Virus

    Influenza vaccine development—a high priority for the U.S. military following the deaths of approximately one in every 67 soldiers from the flu during the 1918-1919 pandemic—took a major step forward when researchers at the UK’s Medical Research Council were able to isolate the virus (shown at right) from humans.

    Virologist Patrick Laidlaw and his team were working with ferrets to develop a distemper vaccine when the animals caught the flu from Wilson Smith, one of the scientists in the laboratory. The team dubbed it the “W.S.” virus, and their discovery made it possible to develop a vaccine.

    Read More

  • 1936

    The First Flu Vaccine Is Introduced

    Soviet scientist A.A. Smorodintseff made the first attempt to vaccinate people with a live influenza vaccine. Following in the footsteps of Louis Pasteur—who had made the first known attempt to vaccinate humans with a live, attenuated viral strain of rabies in 1885—Smorodintseff passed the live flu virus about 30 times in eggs, so it lost its virulence. He reported that those injected with the modified virus developed a slight fever but were protected against reinfection.

    The attenuated virus was then used for mass production of a vaccine that was largely administered to factory workers, who were susceptible to outbreaks due to close working conditions.

    Read More

  • Image courtesy of Library of Congress


    The First U.S. Influenza Vaccine Is Approved

    This whole-virus, inactivated influenza A and B vaccine was first tested in military recruits and college students before it received approval for military use in the United States. A year later, it was approved for civilian use, as well. At right, schoolchildren wait in line for immunization shots at a child health station in New York City, circa 1946.

    There are four types of influenza virus—A, B, C and D—but only the A and B types are thought to cause viral epidemics in humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Read More

  • Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson Archives


    Disposable Hypodermic Needles and Syringes Are Invented

    Disposable syringes and needles were introduced in the 1950s, and were mass-produced starting in 1954.

    JELCO®, then part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, introduced a new line of one-time use hypodermic needles and syringes in 1964 that helped prevent cross-contamination between patients during the administration of injected medicines and vaccines, such as the influenza vaccine.

    Read More

  • 1957-1958

    The Asian Flu Pandemic Hits

    This was the second major influenza pandemic of the 20th century, killing about 2 million worldwide, including almost 70,000 in the United States. It was caused by a virus known as influenza A subtype h3N2 (shown at right), a mixed strain many scientists believe originated from a combination of bird (the Spanish flu pandemic was caused by a virus that developed from an avian source) and human flu viruses.

    Influenza strains are characterized by two proteins on the outer surface of the virus: hemagglutinin and neuraminidase (represented by H and N, respectively). There are 14 versions of the H protein and nine versions of the N protein, according to the American Council on Science and Health.

    The virus was first identified in Guizhou, China, in 1956. It spread to Singapore by February 1957, Hong Kong by that April and the U.S. by June. A vaccine was developed to contain the outbreak in 1957, but the strain would later evolve via antigenic shift into h4N2, causing a milder pandemic between 1968 and 1969.

    Read More

  • 1968-1969

    The Hong Kong Flu Pandemic Strikes

    The third major flu pandemic of the century, the Hong Kong pandemic (the first known outbreak of the h4N2 strain), killed about 1 million people worldwide, accounting for 34,000 deaths in the United States.

    Compared to the first two pandemics of the century, this one yielded a lower death rate, with a case-to-fatality ratio below 0.5%.

    Possible reasons for this include the fact that there was some immunity against the N2 virus amongst those who had survived the Asian flu pandemic; the outbreak struck around the winter school holidays, limiting its spread in schools; improved medical care better supported the very ill; and antibiotics were available to help ward off secondary bacterial infections.

    Read More

  • 1977-1978

    The Russian Flu Pandemic Spreads

    Technically considered the fourth pandemic of the 20th century (there is no accurate death count on record), this outbreak—which started in China and Russia but eventually spread worldwide—mainly affected people under the age of 25.

    Researchers would later theorize that an older h2N1 virus had mysteriously resurfaced, only impacting younger people who had never been exposed to it.

    Read More

  • 1978

    Researchers Unveil the First Trivalent Vaccine

    The first trivalent (three-component), egg-cultured flu vaccine was created, containing two influenza A strains (h2N1 and h4N2) and one influenza B strain, which were the most common strains in circulation at the time.

    This was the first time a single vaccine was able to protect against three different strains of the flu, and this type of vaccine is still given today.

    Currently, the World Health Organization recommends the composition of influenza vaccines each year, based on the results of its global influenza surveillance, which helps the organization predict the strains most likely to circulate in the coming flu season.

    Read More

  • 1999

    Two New Ways to Help Ease Flu Symptoms Become Available

    Two antivirals, oseltamivir phosphate and zanamivir, were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of influenza A and B. Both medications were shown to reduce such flu symptoms as fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose.

    Prior to their approval, people suffering from the flu had to rely on over-the-counter drugs to help relieve their symptoms. Both of these medications require a physician’s prescription and are effective in patients who’ve been symptomatic for no more than 48 hours.

    Read More

  • 2003

    A Nasal Vaccine Is Approved

    The first nasally administered influenza vaccine was licensed for healthy, nonpregnant people between the ages of 5 and 49. In 2007, it was also approved for younger kids between the ages of 2 and 5. This type of vaccine is helpful for those who are unwilling or unable to receive the vaccine via injection.

    Read More

  • 2007

    The First Avian Influenza Vaccine Is Approved

    The FDA approved the first U.S. vaccine for humans against the avian influenza virus H5N1. Although human cases of avian influenza occur only occasionally, the mortality rate when people do become infected is about 60%, according to the World Health Organization.

    Read More

  • 2009

    Work Begins on a Universal Flu Vaccine

    Johnson & Johnson announced that it will begin work on the development of a new universal flu vaccine designed to fight all types of the virus, using molecules called mini-HA antigens that contain parts of the flu virus that appear within a wide variety of viruses. The goal: provide longer-lasting protection than the regular seasonal flu shot.

    The catalyst for this was a 2008 discovery by Crucell (now part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies) that human antibody CR6261 could protect against a broad spectrum of influenza viruses. It was then that researchers realized humans are capable of producing antibodies against the part of the influenza virus that doesn’t change—an idea that was not accepted before this time.

    “Current flu vaccines have to be changed year to year, and even then, they only reduce the risk of developing the flu by 40 to 60%,” explains Ted Kwaks

    Ted Kwaks, Ph.D.,Director for Project Management and External Innovation, Viral Vaccines Discovery, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Ph.D., Director of Discovery Project Management & External Innovation, Viral Vaccine Discovery, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. “The theory is that, ultimately, we’ll put these antigens into a vaccine that will provide protection against virtually all flu strains.”

    Read More

  • 2009

    The Swine Flu Pandemic Hits

    The h2N1 (swine flu) pandemic—caused by the same strain of virus responsible for the 1918 pandemic—originated in Mexico and spread rapidly, killing up to a half-million people worldwide. There were about 60 million reported cases of infection, with more than 274,000 hospitalizations and upward of 12,000 deaths in the United States.

    The virus isolated from patients in the U.S. was made up of genetic elements from four different flu viruses: North American swine influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza and a swine influenza virus typically found in Asia and Europe. One characteristic of the swine flu was that it did not disproportionately affect those over the age of 60, like most other strains, since those who contracted the flu before 1957 seemed to have some immunity to h2N1.

    Although the flu is viral, the h2N1 strain damaged the lungs of its victims, leaving them susceptible to such secondary bacterial infections as pneumonia. Thankfully, antibiotics were readily available in 2009, which greatly reduced these complications.

    Read More

  • 2012

    The FDA Approves the First Quadrivalent Vaccine

    The first quadrivalent vaccine, which fights against four strains of the flu—two influenza A and two influenza B lineage strains—was approved by the FDA.

    The addition of a second influenza B strain to the vaccine aimed to provide broader protection against circulating flu viruses. Although influenza B viruses have never been reported to be responsible for a pandemic, they have been reported to cause localized epidemics, and they have been the most prevalent viruses during certain flu seasons.

    Read More

  • 2014

    U.S. Patients Have a New Option for Helping to Relieve Flu Symptoms

    The FDA approved the antiviral peramivir for the relief of flu symptoms, including cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, feverishness, muscle aches and fatigue.

    Unlike other drugs of its kind, it’s taken intravenously and only requires one dose. The medication is available to patients admitted to the Emergency Department who may not be candidates for oral treatment, including those who are severely dehydrated, have swallowing issues or who do not have a fully functioning gastrointestinal tract.

    Read More

  • 2017

    Johnson & Johnson Partners With the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    Read More

Consider donating to the organization, which distributes flu vaccines to those who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

90,000 how and how to treat the flu?

Influenza epidemics occur throughout the northern hemisphere every fall and winter, yet they come as a surprise to many. It is very difficult to protect yourself from influenza – it is a highly contagious (contagious) infectious disease that affects an average of 10% of the population annually. This is a huge figure: in 10 people at least one gets the flu. In addition, the flu is by no means harmless: for children, the elderly and those whose immunity is weakened, the flu is deadly.Flu treatment should not be left to chance and should be taken seriously.

Why does the flu require urgent treatment?

Influenza is a viral infection. It is very simple to become infected with this disease – it is transmitted both by airborne droplets and by household means. A sick person is contagious from the first hours to the fifth or seventh day of the disease. It is enough to stand next to a sneezing person for a few minutes – and the job is done. Typically, flu symptoms appear abruptly: literally in a few hours, weakness and drowsiness rolls over, headache and body aches appear, the temperature rises to 38–39 ° C, and in babies – up to 40 ° C.Influenza is often accompanied by pain in the joints and muscles, severe irritation of the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx, coughing, sneezing, and sore eyes. The symptoms of the flu are unpleasant, but not nearly as dangerous as the effects.

The appearance of the first symptoms of influenza is preceded by a latent phase of the disease – the incubation period. Its duration depends on the type of virus and averages 3-5 days. The most contagious period for influenza illness is considered to be 5-7 days from the moment the first symptoms appear.

Influenza often causes complications, and if the flu itself can be cured in 5-10 days, it can take weeks to deal with the complications. The most common complication of influenza is pneumonia, or pneumonia. It is still a deadly disease, especially for children and elderly people. No less formidable consequences of influenza are otitis media, bronchitis, sinusitis, diseases of the cardiovascular system.

To defeat the flu, you need to influence the very cause of the disease, that is, the virus.Symptomatic treatment – means to lower the temperature, relieve sore throat, cough mixtures and nasal drops – does not affect the activity of the virus, but only facilitates the manifestations of the disease. This is a certain danger – having knocked down the temperature, a person decides that he has recovered, and returns to an active lifestyle, infecting others and risking again in bed with complications in a day.

If you feel unwell, see a doctor immediately. Without laboratory tests, it is almost impossible to determine whether the symptoms are caused by a bacterial infection, an influenza virus, or some other virus.And without knowing this, it is impossible to prescribe an adequate effective treatment.

How to treat the flu: methods and techniques

To defeat the flu, an integrated approach is needed – this is the only way to cope with the disease in the shortest possible time.

  • Non-drug treatment

    For a speedy recovery, the patient needs to provide peace and comfort. Bed rest is obligatory – also because the flu is highly contagious.

    With the flu, as with any colds, you need to drink more fluids.Drinking plenty of fluids will help to quickly remove toxins that are formed as a result of the activity of the virus. It is toxins that we owe headache, weakness and nausea during illness. In addition, with the flu, sweating is often observed, and along with the sweat, the patient loses fluid. Therefore, its reserves need to be replenished in order to avoid dehydration. It is best to drink warm drinks that do not contain caffeine and alcohol: fruit drinks, herbal teas or water. By the way, you should not drink very hot drinks. While our grandmothers believed that scalding hot raspberry tea would help ward off the flu, hot drinking is more harmful than helpful – it burns an already sore throat and can worsen pain.

    The same applies to heat. At high temperatures, it is better not to wrap yourself up too warmly, this disrupts the process of thermoregulation. In general, we advise you to be careful with the recipes of traditional medicine and not to abuse them: many “grandmother’s” methods of treating influenza are not only meaningless, but also harmful. What is the only advice for the flu to drink vodka with pepper: both components do not affect the activity of the virus in any way, pepper can cause serious irritation of the esophagus, and vodka is a huge load on the liver, which during an illness already works at the limit of its capabilities, trying to neutralize toxins.In addition, alcohol has a detrimental effect on the immune system, weakened by the disease.

  • Drug therapy.

    All drug therapy for influenza can be divided into two types: symptomatic drugs and drugs that help fight the causative agent of the disease.

    Symptomatic remedies include medicines designed to reduce fever and relieve pain. Most often, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for these purposes.This is a very large group of drugs, which includes paracetamol, ibuprofen and other drugs familiar to everyone. Vasoconstrictor drops will help to cope with a runny nose. However, they cannot be used longer than 5-7 days, otherwise you run the risk of getting rhinitis medication – a chronic condition in which the nasal mucosa atrophies and a person is forced to use drops constantly. Vasoconstrictors can be replaced with oil-based drops. They do not work as efficiently and do not provide immediate relief, but they are not as aggressive.

    People with the flu are often annoyed by coughs and pharmacies offer a wide range of cough medicines. But you should not buy them yourself – without consulting a doctor. The fact is that some drugs suppress the cough reflex and are prescribed for dry cough, while others help thin phlegm and clear the lungs, they should be taken with a wet cough. By choosing the wrong group of funds, you can cause stagnation of moisture in the lungs, which is fraught with pneumonia.

    No matter how varied the symptomatic remedies are, the treatment of influenza is not based on them, but on antiviral drugs.In particular, a doctor may prescribe Arbidol, a Russian antiviral drug, the manufacturers of which have conducted research and have proven its effectiveness in accelerating recovery, relieving symptoms and reducing the risk of complications [1]. This study was the first Russian full-scale study registered at clinicaltrials.gov.

Treatment for complications of influenza

Complications of influenza are very diverse and require different treatment.Influenza can lead to the development of complications from the cardiovascular and nervous systems, lead to diseases of the respiratory tract and lungs, toxic-allergic shock and many other dangerous conditions. This is another reason to consult a doctor only a specialist can notice complications in time and prescribe the correct therapy.

Particular attention should be paid to those who are at risk: people over 65, pregnant women, everyone who is recovering from surgery or a serious illness, as well as those who have any chronic diseases.All these cases are characterized by a decrease in immunity. But the flu is especially dangerous for children, in particular infants under 6 months of age. In babies, immunity has not yet formed and cannot actively resist bacterial and viral infections.

Don’t underestimate the flu. Despite the fact that this disease is very widespread and almost everyone has encountered the flu, it is extremely dangerous – every year in Russia, from 400 to 900 people die from the flu [2]. However, there is good news: mortality from influenza is gradually decreasing, and the responsibility of those who turn to doctors on time and take antiviral drugs played an important role in this process.

Headache with colds and flu

Co-author, editor and medical expert – Maksimov Alexander Alekseevich.

Date of last update: 30.06.2021

Number of views: 69 350

Average reading time: 6 minutes


Causes of headaches in case of viral diseases, colds and flu
Headache as a symptom of a cold
Headache when coughing
How to get rid of a headache
When urgent medical attention is required

Headache (cephalalgia) is a typical symptom of colds, along with a runny nose, cough, fever and general weakness.Depending on the diagnosis, painful sensations manifest themselves in different ways: with a cold, they are usually aching, and with a flu, they are more acute, intense and localized in the forehead, temples and eyeballs. In any case, you should not endure the discomfort from such a state – you can cope with it.

Causes of headaches in viral diseases, colds and flu

Headaches in influenza and other viral diseases can occur for several reasons:

  • intoxication, that is, poisoning of the body with toxins – the waste products of viruses and bacteria;
  • An increase in the production of cerebrospinal fluid, which, because of this, presses on the lining of the brain;
  • Complications of colds: sinusitis – inflammation of the paranasal sinuses – or otitis media – inflammation of the ear.

Up to Contents

Headache as a symptom of a cold

Headache as a symptom of a cold

Headache with colds is usually localized in the eyeballs and forehead. It can be either one-sided or two-sided. The pain is moderate, but in the event of complications, it can intensify, causing significant physical discomfort. If, with cephalalgia, mucous discharge from the nose becomes more abundant, this may indicate the spread of a viral infection to the nasopharynx.Headache, cough, runny nose, which do not decrease with antiviral treatment, often indicate the occurrence of sinusitis. Dry or wet cough, sore throat and fever are also possible. These additional signs indicate a complex course of a cold and a complication of respiratory viral diseases with laryngitis, sore throat or bronchitis, depending on the intensity of additional manifestations of the disease.

A throbbing headache may indicate the development of a dangerous complication – meningitis, especially if the attacks are accompanied by vomiting.A headache with a cold without fever may indicate a weakening of the body’s defenses or a high risk of the latent course of infectious diseases.

Up to contents

Headache when coughing

A short-term headache when coughing occurs due to an increase in intracranial pressure during a coughing act. A typical attack does not last long – 20-30 seconds. It disappears at the end of the cough. Similar pain attacks occur with cervical neuralgia and osteochondrosis.During coughing, turning the neck and tilting the head, nerve endings are pinched, which leads to unpleasant sensations.

Pain in cervical osteochondrosis always increases during coughing, since the act of cough is accompanied by slight compression of the nerve structures located next to the cartilaginous tissues of the spine. In this case, the painful focus is often localized in the occipital region, accompanied by dizziness, a feeling of congestion and tinnitus. Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine occurs with impaired blood circulation in the brain and can cause dangerous complications.Therefore, do not postpone going to a specialist, especially if pain attacks occur regularly.

Up to the table of contents

How to get rid of a headache

In order for a headache, runny nose, cough, symptoms of respiratory viral diseases to subside as soon as possible, you need to take care of yourself, observing a gentle regimen throughout the entire treatment period. Do not prescribe medications for yourself without first consulting a doctor – only the doctor knows how to relieve headaches with a cold and what drugs should be prescribed in a particular case.

Drug-free treatment

  • Minimize physical activity, ideally stay in bed and sleep more.
  • Refrain from books, televisions, computers, smartphones – and generally from mental stress of any kind.
  • Ensure that the room has enough fresh air and is not too dry, hot or cold.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Water and other non-alcoholic drinks – berry fruit drinks, herbal preparations, rosehip decoction – help to remove toxins from the body, thereby eliminating one of the main causes of the development of symptoms of headache, cough and runny nose.

Drug treatment

Antipyretic drugs prescribed for influenza, as a rule, can relieve headaches, runny nose and weakness, but they should only be used at a really high body temperature (from 38 ° C for children and from 38.5 ° C for adults). Analgesics should also be used with caution: it is unacceptable to swallow one anesthetic pill after another.

In many cases, herbal remedies can be preferred for the treatment of cold headaches.A noticeable relief to the patient can be brought by the ointment Doctor MOM ® Phyto, intended for both adults and children from 3 years old. This is a local remedy used for headaches and colds, viral infections. It contains four essential oils and helps to relieve headaches for colds without fever or with signs of fever. When applied, the drug has a local irritating, distracting, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effect. To get rid of headaches with colds, Doctor MOM ® Phyto ointment should be applied to the temples.When you are also worried about a runny nose, the ointment can also help ease breathing when applied to the wings of the nose.

Up to contents

When urgent medical attention is required

A severe headache with a cold can be a symptom not only of acute respiratory viral infections or uncomplicated flu, but also of more dangerous diseases, such as meningitis. If the discomfort does not go away for a long time, is aggravated by tilting the head and sudden movements, or accompanied by nausea and vomiting, you should immediately consult a doctor.

There are other types of pain that may indicate the development of serious diseases. Do not postpone the visit to a specialist, especially in the following cases:

  • pain attack against the background of a cold or viral disease becomes intense and unbearable;
  • Painful sensations combined with light-headedness or fainting, muscle weakness;
  • body temperature rises above 38 ° C, muscle spasms occur, which are localized mainly in the neck, photophobia develops – these symptoms may indicate the development of meningitis.

Up to Table of Contents

The information in this article is for reference only and does not replace professional medical advice. Consult a qualified professional for diagnosis and treatment.

You may also be interested in

Treatment of persistent cough in children

How to get rid of herpes quickly?

Herpes, or cold / fever, is a painful collection of blisters on or around the lips.Such rashes are very common and go away on their own. But what if you have an important event ahead of you, such as a wedding or a job interview? Here’s how to get rid of herpes quickly:

1. Apply cold compress

Apply a cool, damp cloth compress to the rash to heal faster. Redness and irritation will diminish and recovery will be faster.

If on the eve of an important event you feel signs of herpes, then apply ice to this place.The cold prevents the spread of inflammation, and if the rash does appear, it will disappear faster. Try sucking on an ice cube, this will moisturize the affected area, and then it will not dry out, not crack, and a secondary infection will not appear on it.

2. Ointments from herpes

Herpes ointment is sold without a prescription. Treatment should be started as early as possible, but even if the ointment is often applied to the rash that has already appeared, healing will occur faster.Be sure to carefully read the instructions on the packaging of the ointment, and you will get the best result.

3. Medicines according to with prescription

Antiviral drugs in tablets speed up the healing process. These drugs include acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir. They are sold by prescription from a dentist or therapist.

These medicines are most effective if taken before the blisters appear. Early treatment for herpes is the key to success.If you feel a burning sensation, tingling sensation, itching, tension on your lips, that is, the prerequisites for the appearance of a “cold”, take the medicine. It will stop the development of symptoms, or shorten the duration of the disease.

Prevention relapses herpes

The herpes virus remains in the body forever, but you can take preventive measures to prevent breakouts. Change your toothbrush when the rash has healed. The virus that causes herpes can live on a toothbrush for several days.If you continue to brush your teeth with the same toothbrush, the inflammation may reappear. To avoid relapse, discard your old toothbrush.

If recurrences of herpes are frequent, your dentist may recommend taking antiviral drugs regularly for prevention. In addition, your doctor will recommend that you avoid factors that trigger the breakout, such as stress or sun exposure.

When you have an important event ahead of you, use the methods of quickly getting rid of herpes.

90,000 ARVI, influenza and coronavirus: we analyze the differences with an infectious disease doctor from Ufa

Photo: Personal archive of the infectious disease doctor

SARS, influenza and coronavirus: we analyze the differences with an infectious disease doctor from Ufa Photo: Personal archive of an infectious disease doctor

Wash hands, wear masks and avoid crowds.Probably everyone has learned these three simple rules for 2020. The coronavirus has done its job. However, these points help to avoid meeting not only with COVID-19, but also with viruses that have long appeared in human life – flu and SARS. Another important point is vaccination. In Bashkiria, the influenza vaccination campaign has ended. Alsu Khizyapova, an infectious disease specialist at the polyclinic No. 1 of the city of Ufa, told the Bashinform agency about the main differences between coronavirus, flu and common colds, precautions and what should not be done at the first symptoms of infection.


The infectious disease specialist advised first of all to follow the rules of hygiene. Wash hands thoroughly with soap, treat surfaces with disinfectants and be sure to flush the upper respiratory tract. Simply put, treat your nose with saline. You can buy them at any pharmacy. Pharmacists will prompt you on the spot.

“It is better not to treat the face with disinfectant solutions, as they can dry out the skin, which is not very good, especially in winter,” advised Alsu Khizyapova.

The infectious disease doctor also recommends not forgetting about a healthy lifestyle: quitting smoking, minimizing alcohol consumption, eating right, getting enough sleep and taking daily walks in the fresh air – at least half an hour.

By the way! If you need to go to the clinic to see a doctor with other complaints (in addition to colds, flu and coronavirus), then you should not wait at home. Today in the Ufa and other polyclinics of the republic, the division of the streams of people is organized.Patients with fever enter a medical facility on the one hand, healthy patients on the other. Moreover, they do not intersect with each other.


Physicians admit that the symptoms of these three viral diseases are similar. However, close observation of the body will help to recognize the “enemy” at the first sign.

According to the infectious disease doctor Alsu Khizyapova, with the flu, the body temperature rises above 38 degrees, lasts for about four to five days and is very confused.

“With ARVI, the temperature is always below 38 degrees,” the doctor assured. – The flu is also accompanied by severe headaches, muscle pains (as if you were beaten the day before). The same symptoms are observed with coronavirus, so all these viruses can be definitively recognized only after tests. ”

For any manifestation of a cold, doctors advise not to wait for the deterioration of the condition, take the phone and issue a doctor’s call at home. Do not self-medicate under any circumstances! Even banal antiviral drugs should not be pounced on without a doctor’s prescription.You can harm and achieve not recovery, but complications. The only thing you can do yourself is drink more water.


Our people love to be treated with vodka and pepper and a bathhouse. Infectious disease doctor Alsu Khizyapova explained that these two methods will not help, but will only create a temporary illusion of recovery.

“There are so-called folk remedies that can complicate the course of the disease. It is strictly forbidden to overheat, – explains the medic.”It can lead to complications in the form of pneumonia.”


Vaccination campaign against influenza in Bashkiria has ended. And if you thought for a long time and did not have time to make a vaccine “Sovigripp” or any other, then it is no longer worth doing this now (in December), since the epidemic of SARS and influenza has already come close.

“The vaccine does not affect immunity. With the drug, a weakened influenza virus is introduced into the body, which learns to recognize its own kind when meeting with them from the external environment, says the infectious disease doctor.“It is worth remembering that influenza vaccination does not protect against other acute respiratory infections.”

Also, don’t be surprised if you’ve been diagnosed with the flu and vaccinated in the fall. According to research, modern vaccines recognize about 60% of influenza viruses. However, there are undoubtedly advantages. Firstly, the course of the disease will not be so severe, and the consequences – either frivolous, or will be completely excluded.

How to treat a lingering cough in an adult

According to the literature, the cause of chronic cough may be postnasal syndrome, or postnasal flow syndrome.It is a consequence of a number of ENT diseases, for example, inflammation of the nasal mucosa of a different nature (allergic, viral, bacterial nature, rhinitis of pregnant women, rhinitis medicamentosa) 6.7 .

All these diseases are accompanied by increased formation of secretions (secretions) in the nasal cavity. Part of the secretion flows down the back of the pharynx into the lower respiratory tract, where the cough receptors are located. The secret irritates them, which contributes to the appearance of the cough reflex 6 .

In addition, the developing inflammation of the mucous membrane of the posterior pharyngeal wall and larynx further increases the sensitivity of the cough receptors 6 .

Typical symptoms of postnasal syndrome are mucus dripping down the throat, constant urge to cough, hoarseness, nasal congestion. Cough occurs only in 20% of patients 6 .

Thus, the cough in postnasal syndrome is unproductive, dry, but patients most often perceive it as wet.This sensation is due to the presence of mucus flowing down from the nasopharynx 10 in the upper respiratory tract.

In case of a cough reflex, which appears against the background of postnasal syndrome, the underlying disease must be treated 7 .

90,000 How does the body react to the influenza virus and what to do if you get sick

Our body is the main tool in the fight against influenza. And such symptoms as fever, headache, sore muscles, sore throat, cough and runny nose, are the body’s defensive reactions to the virus, that help fight it.They testify to the active work of our immunity. If you get sick with the flu, it is important to create conditions for your body so that it can fight the virus.

How the flu virus enters the body

The flu virus causes inflammation in the airways, nose, throat, and lungs. It enters the body by airborne droplets (a person inhales it) or household (transmitted through the hands) and enters the body through the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose or eyes.After entering the respiratory tract, the virus binds to the cells of the integumentary epithelium. When a virus enters a cell, it prevents it from making proteins and stimulates the production of specific viral proteins. Over time, their number increases, and they literally “capture” neighboring cells. This unwanted invasion puts the immune system in a state of readiness to fight the disease. This is why most flu symptoms are actually related to the body’s immune response to the virus.


Why there is swelling and sore throat

One of the types of cells that fight the virus are white blood cells, T-lymphocytes. They are sometimes even called the “soldiers” of the immune system. When T cells localize the proteins of the influenza virus, they begin to overgrow in the lymph nodes around the lungs and throat, causing swelling and pain in those lymph nodes.You can get rid of this symptom only when the body is fully recovered.

Why there is a cough

The increase in mucus in the lungs, as an immune response to infection, triggers a cough as a reflex to clear the airways. Typically, this process is also caused by the activity of T cells in the lungs. Fighting the virus in the lungs results in symptoms similar to bronchitis. This can worsen the condition if you have previous lung disease and make breathing difficult.

Why headache and fever occur

To fight the virus, immune cells enter the bloodstream. This process can affect the region of the brain in the hypothalamus that regulates body temperature. The result is fever and headache.

How to treat the flu: the main “yes” and “no”

If you have flu symptoms, the first thing to do is to see your doctor and not run to the pharmacy for antibiotics, “immunomodulators” or herbal remedies.Your doctor may prescribe medications to relieve symptoms (paracetamol or ibuprofen for fever, runny nose, or sore throat) if needed. Flu symptoms are the result of our immune system being active. Therefore, it is important to create conditions for your body so that it can fight the virus – keep bed rest without unnecessary stress, drink plenty of fluids, ventilate the room and, if possible, do wet cleaning. Our immune system has enough resources to fight disease.The main thing is not to interfere.

And in order to minimize the risks of getting sick – get vaccinated against the flu! One vaccination will help build up immunity against the virus for an entire season. Also wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, avoid crowds, and sneeze properly. And if you get sick, stay at home.


90,000 How to distinguish acute respiratory infections, acute respiratory infections, allergies and the coronavirus COVID-19: POSITIVEMED

What is hidden behind the abbreviation ARI

ARI in everyday life means a condition in which there is a runny nose, cough, sore throat and fever.ARI stands for acute respiratory disease .

Acute means arising suddenly or in a short period of time.

Respiratory – means the place of localization of inflammation, the respiratory tract.

Disease – means the presence of a disease in a particular person.

But it should be borne in mind that there are tens and hundreds of diseases with similar symptoms as in acute respiratory infections. Accordingly, there will be the same number of diagnoses.And therefore, ARI is a term that combines numerous diseases with similar symptoms. But requiring a different approach to the treatment of each of them.

The most common causes of ARI are:

  1. Viruses – then ARVI is diagnosed
  2. bacteria
  3. hypothermia / cold
  4. allergy

Let me tell you in more detail how to distinguish one from the other.

ARI and ARVI – what is the difference

99% of all ARI is ARVI.99% of ARVI does not require treatment in hospitals and does not require the use of any specific drugs that affect the virus. ARVI treatment is almost always symptomatic, because there are no cheap and effective antiviral agents . And those that are known have their own indications and contraindications. And there is no particular need for them, since the human body, when certain conditions and a little help are created, successfully cope with respiratory viruses.

More than 200 types of viruses are known to cause ARVI symptoms.The most common viruses are influenza (A, B, C, avian, swine), parainfluenza, adenoviruses, coronaviruses, rhinoviruses, RS viruses, enteroviruses, EBV, etc. These pathogens cause more or less similar symptoms. Therefore, they are combined into ARVI, i.e. the source of infection is a sick person.

ARVI symptoms:

  • Increased body temperature
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • General malaise
  • Loss of appetite
  • Damage to the respiratory tract mucosa: rhinitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, laryngotracheitis, bronchitis, conjunctivitis
  • Bacterial complications such as sinusitis, otitis media, pneumonia can also occur

A few words about how long the temperature lasts with ARVI.Usually ARVI symptoms persist for 3-7 days . Incubation period 1-10 days . The period of contagion 3-5-7 days . As mentioned above, in most cases, ARVI treatment is symptomatic and is carried out at home. But the lack of improvement on the 4th day, as well as if the temperature with ARVI remains above normal on the 7th day – this is an unambiguous reason to see a doctor.

About bacterial acute respiratory infections and about antibiotics

Often patients formulate a question about “bacterial ARVI”.But taking into account the above, it is more correct to say not bacterial ARVI, but bacterial ARI. Since we have already found out that ARVI is a viral ARI and has nothing to do with bacteria.

What are the symptoms of bacterial ARI:

  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Inconsistency of the severity of specific symptoms with the real severity of the condition . Those. it seems that the body temperature is low, the runny nose is not strong and the cough is infrequent, but lies in a layer.
  • Thirst. With ARVI, it is rarely observed, but thirst in combination with pallor of the skin is a sign of a bacterial infection
  • Pain . In principle, it is not typical for ARVI, therefore, if the ear, throat, nose, forehead suddenly become very ill, and this worries the child very much, then this is always a reason to think about a bacterial infection. For example, with angina, there are symptoms of tonsillitis, but there are no signs of ARVI.
  • Pus . Purulent sputum, purulent nasal discharge, purulent deposits on the tonsils are a sign of a bacterial infection.
  • Cough . Frequent, usually dry, not relieving, aggravated by exertion and crying, with shortness of breath.
  • Fever . With bacterial acute respiratory infections, it is characteristic that with an increase in body temperature, antipyretic drugs practically do not help or very briefly help.
  • Lymphadenopathy . Enlargement and tenderness of the submandibular and anterior cervical lymph nodes.

In case of bacterial acute respiratory infections, the treatment is prescribed by a doctor.Usually, these are antibiotics. In no case should you self-medicate. Since the wrong medication can only aggravate the situation.

ARI with hypothermia or colds

The upper respiratory tract is the source of life for a huge number of different microorganisms (peaceful, pathogenic and opportunistic), primarily bacteria. Their existence and reproduction is restrained and regulated by the forces of local immunity. As a result of sudden hypothermia, a sharp vasospasm occurs and the blood supply to the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract is disrupted, which leads to a decrease in the activity of local immunity, due to which the pathogenic and opportunistic flora is activated, etc.because there are no restraining forces.

How severe the symptoms of a cold will be or will not be expressed at all depends on the individual characteristics of each individual person. For example:

  • on the number and species diversity of pathogenic and opportunistic flora
  • how much vasospasm occurred and blood supply was disturbed
  • state of local immunity before hypothermia
  • duration and intensity of the cold factor.

T.That is, the signs of a cold in different people can be of different degrees of severity.

The principal feature of colds is their non-infectiousness . After all, bacteria began to multiply only because the local immunity was weakened. Those. when you and your child were sitting at home, and suddenly he had a runny nose and cough, and at the same time no one came to visit you, you can, after analyzing the situation, understand that it is a cold. You can catch a cold while sitting at home in different ways: the windows were open everywhere, after bathing they were not wrapped up enough, the child could drink / eat cold from the refrigerator, etc.d.

Treatment for colds is usually symptomatic. Those. is prescribed by a doctor depending on the symptoms manifested.

How to distinguish allergies from acute respiratory infections

Traditionally, an allergic reaction occurs like this. A certain substance from the outside – allergen – when it enters the body is perceived by our immunity as a foreign agent antigen . In defense of the antigen, antibodies are produced . When the same antigen enters the body again and its interaction with the antibodies already developed, an allergic reaction occurs.

Depending on the method of contact with the allergen, different types of allergies are distinguished:

  • Allergen can be eaten, which provokes food allergic reaction
  • the allergen can come into contact with the skin, then contact allergy occurs
  • the allergen can be contained in the inhaled air, which provokes an allergic reaction in the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract – respiratory allergies, allergic rhinitis, allergic rhinosinusitis, etc.d.

It is the third variant of allergy that is often confused with acute respiratory infections. How to distinguish allergies from acute respiratory infections? The principal diagnostic feature of respiratory allergy is pronounced symptoms of respiratory tract damage, when there is a runny nose and / or cough, manifested very quickly, but there are no signs of general infectious toxicosis (general well-being is not disturbed, activity is preserved, appetite is maintained, normal body temperature).

Treatment for allergic rhinitis, rhinosinusitis, allergosis, etc.the doctor prescribes. The doctor will select the appropriate anti-allergic drugs and give the necessary recommendations. If possible, try to get rid of the source of the allergen.

How to distinguish SARS from coronavirus

I described above how to distinguish ARI and ARVI. But how to distinguish SARS from coronavirus? COVID-19 – an attack that, like a tsunami, unexpectedly hit the population of our country this spring, made even the most indifferent inhabitants of this planet look on the Internet and ask what the symptoms of coronavirus are and how to distinguish it from the usual acute respiratory infections.I am glad that, according to statistics, children are less likely to get coronavirus.

Covid-19 is most often manifested by a high 9003 fever, dry cough and shortness of breath . Today, all doctors are advised to see a doctor if there is at least one of these symptoms.

Fever and cough, except for COVID-19, are also the main signs of bacterial acute respiratory infections or influenza. But difficulty breathing with these diseases is less common. T.That is, the most important difference that is observed with coronavirus and less common with other acute respiratory infections is difficulty in breathing .

I will give you a wonderful sign that I came across on the Internet

When to seek medical attention

For any condition that does not fit into the usual picture of acute respiratory infections, it is recommended to consult a doctor. If a patient has acute respiratory infections, symptoms suddenly appear:

  • loss of consciousness,
  • convulsions,
  • signs of respiratory failure (shortness of breath, shortness of breath)
  • intense pain anywhere, clearly disturbing a child or adult
  • even just mild sore throat in the absence of a runny nose
  • moderate headache combined with vomiting
  • swelling of the neck
  • rash – any
  • body temperature above 39 degrees, which does not decrease 30 minutes after the use of antipyretics
  • any increase in body temperature in combination with chills and pallor of the skin
  • dehydration – dry tongue, crying without tears, lack of urine for more than 6 hours, vomiting, refusal to drink.

See a doctor immediately!

Let me remind you that in the Positivemed clinic in St. Petersburg you can take an analysis for antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus

ARI prevention measures

Prevention of ARI helps to significantly reduce morbidity among children and adults. One of the most effective measures is the creation of specific immunity through vaccination, taking into account the individual characteristics of the organism.

Try to maintain optimal humidity and temperature in your home.Frequent wet cleaning of the premises helps to maintain local immunity. Be sure to ventilate your home regularly.

In general, following the recommendations for the prevention of acute respiratory infections will also prevent many other diseases. Temper within reason, play sports, follow a diet, walk more often, lead a healthy lifestyle and illness will recede for a long time, if not forever.

Health to you and your kids! And in case of any ailments or questions, I am waiting for you at my reception at POSITIVEMED.