Woman at home on sofa wrapped in blanket blowing her nose
Woman at home on sofa wrapped in blanket blowing her nose

Learn all about the flu

At first, a flu can seem like a cold. However, the flu has only 3 main viruses that cause a much more severe infection. Flu symptoms also appear fast and will usually peak after 2 to 3 days; within 5 to 8 days you should finally start to feel better. Symptoms of the flu include fever, a sore throat, a headache, muscle aches, fatigue, congestion and coughs.1

So how do you help clear the flu fast? Usually there is no need to see a doctor and simple home remedies like getting plenty of rest, keeping warm and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated2 are very beneficial. Honey and lemon drinks are used to soothe a sore throat.

Antibiotics won’t help the flu as they’re designed to treat bacteria, not a virus. It’s best to save antibiotics for the times when you need it, to avoid building up a resistance to treat an infection.3

Eccles, R. 2009. Mechanisms of symptoms of common cold and flu. Basel, Birkhäuser

Flu symptoms: Should I see my doctor? Mayo Clinic. Available from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/expert-answers/flu-symptoms/faq-20057983 (accessed 10 July 2018)

COPD - Mayo Clinic. 2015. Diseases and Conditions. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research