Flu is so popular in winter, but what are the causes and the home remedies to treat flu? Let’s check together.
Many of us misunderstand the difference between an illness and a cold. There are more than 100 different viruses which can cause a cold; however, only influenza virus types A, B, and C can cause the flu.
Causes of flu
As we said before, influenza virus types A, B, and C can cause the flu. Now, let’s know more about them.
In general, there are many differences between these 3 viruses including:
1- Type A and B viruses cause the large seasonal outbreaks.
3- Type C usually causes milder respiratory symptoms.
3- There is no known vaccination against type C virus, as the flu vaccine can help to protect you from types A and B only.
4- Only human beings are affected by Type B viruses.
5- Many kinds of animals, including ducks, chickens, pigs, whales, horses, and seals can be affected by Type A flu viruses.
How Does It Spread?
The flu can easily spread between people, if you just come into contact with something used by someone else who sneezes or coughs up, you will get flu.
There are many other ways to have flu like breathing it, kissing someone with flu, or touching any object like silverware, doorknobs, handles, television remotes, computer keyboards, and telephones. Then when you touch your nose, eyes, or mouth with your hands, the virus enters your body.
Why Do People Usually Get the Flu in Winter?
In general, we usually get the flu in winter for many reasons including:
In winter, we spend most of our time inside our house, and we often contact each others, so the virus can easily spread between people.
Additionally, the air inside the house is less humid than outside, so the virus lives longer indoors in winter.
It is so easy for the people to inhale the virus when it is alive and in the air, and it is easier for the virus to land on the eyes, nose, or mouth.
How Long Am I Contagious?
After the symptoms start to appear clearly, you can spread the flu for 7 days. So even when are not feeling so bad yet, you can still spread the virus as it can live in your mucus and spit up for 24 hours before knowing that you got it. In other words, you can easily give the virus to someone else before a day of observing any symptoms.
Furthermore, after the second week of illness, young children can keep spreading the flu and contaminating others.
How Can I Avoid It?
There are few tips to avoid flu, including:
1- Keep your hands clean.
2- Wash your hands many times a day to remove germs.
3- Don’t stay close to anyone having flu.
4- Get a flu shot.
What is the Flu Shot?
The CDC is considered the only medical solution to avoid flu. It is a flu vaccine based on the type A strain which the doctors believe that it will be most prevalent in the coming flu season.
This vaccination must be taken every year before the winter season to protect yourself from flu.
Symptoms of flu
There are many symptoms of flu including high fever, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, aches, chills and many others.
6 Home Remedies for the Flu
Although flu can be very annoying, there are many treatments to cure it, but before trying any antiviral drugs, you can try some home remedies to ease the symptoms as they may be all what you need for relief of mild to moderate flu symptoms. So, let’s check some remedies:
Here are the top 10 natural remedies for the flu:
1. Drink up.
Dehydrating the body is one of the main effects of flu, especially if you also have vomiting or diarrhea. In such cases, you have to get enough fluids especially water. Fruit juices and electrolyte beverages can also be a good source of fluids to hydrate your body.
Moreover, It is better to stay away from caffeinated drinks as caffeine is a diuretic.
I really recommend drinking herbal tea with honey, it can really soothe a sore throat.
if your urine should be pale yellow and almost colorless, then you are taking enough fluids.
2. Sip some soup.
Since ever, our parents used to make chicken soup to treat us from colds and flu.
Actually, most of the studies proved that our mom is right.
Actually a study published in the journal Chest showed that soups and especially the chicken soup can be very useful to treat the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections like the flu.
3. Be a couch potato.
Just do what your body wants.
If you feel that you can’t exercise and need to spend all day in bed, then just do it as rest is a good way of supporting the body’s ability to fight infection.
Indulge in a steamy shower for few times a day or turn on the shower and inhale the steam for few minutes.
You can also use a steam vaporizer or a humidifier.
5. Swish and spit with salt water.
To get rid of the thick mucus which are gathered at the back of the throat, try to gargle with salt water, especially after you’ve been lying down for some time.
6. Drink some hot tea.
Drink some herbal, hot tea to soothe your throat and treat the flu.
Use some herbs like green tea and add some honey and slices of lemon.