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What is Influenza and how to treat it?

January 14, 2023

Full disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Should you be in a sticky situation, you should always seek out advice from a legal professional.


Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus. It's the most unwelcome house guest you could ask for – it shows up uninvited, brings a bunch of uncomfortable symptoms, and overstays its welcome for far too long.

What are the symptoms of influenza?

But let's back up for a moment. What exactly are the symptoms of the flu? Well, it's not just a run-of-the-mill cold. The flu tends to hit you like a ton of bricks and can bring on a whole host of miserable symptoms. These can include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, fatigue, and headache. Some people might also experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (yep, the flu really goes the extra mile to make you feel crummy).

How do I know my influenza is not a cold?

So how can you tell if it's the flu and not just a regular old cold? One way is to pay attention to the timing of your symptoms. The flu tends to come on suddenly, whereas a cold tends to develop more gradually. Additionally, the flu tends to be more severe than a cold, with higher fevers and more intense body aches.

How do I stop influenza?

Now that you know what the flu is and what it feels like, let's talk about how to get rid of it. Unfortunately, there's no magic cure for the flu – it's just something you have to ride out. However, there are a few things you can do to help ease your symptoms and get through the flu a little faster.

One of the most important things you can do is stay hydrated. The flu can cause dehydration, so it's important to drink plenty of fluids. Water, sports drinks, and broth-based soups are all good options. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can further dehydrate you.

Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) can also help alleviate some of the aches and pains associated with the flu. Just be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the package.

It's also important to get plenty of rest. This can be tough when you're feeling crummy, but it's important for your body to have time to heal. So curl up with a warm blanket and a good book (or Netflix show) and let your body do its thing.

If you have the flu and are at high risk for complications (such as if you're pregnant, have a compromised immune system, or have a chronic health condition), it's important to contact your healthcare provider. They may recommend antiviral medication, which can help shorten the duration of the flu.

How do I prevent getting influenza?

Now, let's talk about how to avoid getting the flu in the first place. The best way to do this is by getting a flu vaccine. It's not 100% effective, but it can greatly reduce your risk of getting the flu and can also make the illness less severe if you do get it. The flu vaccine is typically available in the fall, so make sure to get yours early.

In addition to getting vaccinated, there are a few other things you can do to reduce your risk of getting the flu. These include washing your hands frequently, avoiding close contact with sick people, and covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.

So there you have it – everything you ever wanted to know (and maybe a little more) about the flu. It's a pesky little virus that can bring on a whole host of unpleasant symptoms, but with a little TLC and some OTC meds, you can get through it. Just don't forget to get your flu vaccine – it's the best

Can getting rest fix my influenza?

It’s easy to request a sick day or two off from work when you have influenza with a Partner Doctor through MinuteHealth. Rest can often help with influenza to reduce the length and severity of it.

Being an Aussie owned & run company, MinuteHealth understands the importance of helping our fellow Aussies out in times of need.

We also understand what it’s like to be in the queue at a doctor’s office just to get a note to confirm things you already knew about your health, just so you can get paid on what should be your day off. Being able to get medical certificates online helps Australians get the rest they need when they need it so they can get back on their feet and back to contributing in no time.

If you need an online medical certificate, it’s a simple process to get one through MinuteHealth:

📱 Head here

📝 Fill in a short form — it asks for key details about your medical issue

👨‍⚕️ Consult with your own Partner Doctor — they’ll take the medical information you provide and review within 24-48 hours

📥 Get your medical certificate to your inbox — you’ll receive an SMS and an e-mail with your medical certificate ready to download

It’s important to note that the independent Partner Doctor will read your health notes and make an informed decision on whether to provide you with a medical certificate or not. The Health Practitioner does not work for us, and we’ve created MinuteHealth to facilitate a convenient, ongoing connection with them.