Self-care Guidelines

Self-care Guidelines

While there is no true treatment for the flu, there are several self-care measures that you can take to help yourself feel better:

  • Consider going to your physician, or if you are a student, go to the Student Health Center and discuss taking an antiviral medication
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Drink plenty of clear liquids such as water, juice, ginger ale (one glass every 2 hours).
  • Drink chicken or bouillon soups.
  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen to relieve aches and to decrease your fever if it makes you uncomfortable. NEVER take aspirin if you are a teenager or college age and NEVER give aspirin to a child.
  • Gargle with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt added to 8 ounces of water) if you have a sore throat.
  • Drink tea with honey or lemon, or use lozenges or hard candy to soothe sore throat pain.
  • Sleep with your head raised on pillows to help relieve the nasal congestion.
  • Take a decongestant, such as Sudafed for a runny or stuffy nose.   Be aware that Sudafed taken at bedtime can keep you awake and sleep is important to being able to heal. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, or asthma, check with your physician before using decongestants.
  • Take a cough medicine, such as Robitussin-DM.
  • Try to limit your contact with others so as not to spread the flu!
  • Good hand washing and careful washing of dishes help to prevent the spread of the flu (link to flu prevention guideline page)


See our checklist to get information on when you need to seek medical care

Should I exercise when I am sick?

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Page content reviewed: 6/1/15 kal

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Miles Annas Building
PO Box 32070
614 Howard Street
Boone, North Carolina 28608

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