HEALTH BEAT: I have the flu, what do I do?

(WEAU) - In our Health Beat, you know the coughing, sneezing and headache. Now the Center for Disease Control says the flu has spread to almost every state. So now that you have it, what do you do?

For the past few weeks, there's been a steady line of flu patients coming into Urgent Care at Marshfield Clinic in Lake Hallie.

"Usually what’s 3-5 days are fairly intense symptoms, but those symptoms can linger 1-2 weeks even," said Jeff Jackson, Physician's Assistant with Marshfield Clinic.

Jeff Jackson says once you have the flu not only should you wash your hands more, but you should cover your cough too.

"People cough so much they’re exhausted, they’re fatigued and aren't getting good rest and actually we've seen a number of people come in with abominable pain and chest wall pain," said Jackson.

Meanwhile, the American College of Chest Physicians and Jackson say there's no evidence that cough drops and cough syrup have helped people with common coughs caused by viruses.

Pharmacists are giving other anti-viral medications that can help like Tamiflu. But, it only works if you’ve been diagnosed with flu-like symptoms within the last 48 hours.

"It’s not being prescribed to everyone. It also has to do with the intensity of your illness," said Jackson.

I also talked to one father whose wife just came down with the flu to see how he’s been dealing with it.

"Opening the windows a little bit on the nicer days, just to get a little bit of fresh air into the house and keeping everyone clean,” said Christopher Hart, Chippewa Falls.

If you already have the flu, the virus won't be helped with herbal supplements or even zinc.

"The headaches and the body aches can be pretty intense and so to use analgesic like ibuprofen is often recommended and greatly appreciated,” said Jackson.

Drinking plenty of water and other fluids is another step in the right direction.

"Eat well, sleep well, get plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest. Supplementing with a multivitamin is fine. We would encourage avoiding excesses," said Jackson.

If you don't have the flu,avoid contact with those who do.

"Kind of put one room in the house as the sick room. We stay in the rest of the house," said Hart.

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