Tips on recovery from flu and cold

Knowing how viruses spread, it is understandable that the best way to prevent catching the flu or a cold is good hygiene:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Use a tissue if you are sneezing or coughing, and then discard the used tissue immediately
  • Clean hard surfaces with a disinfectant
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers

There are also lifestyle changes that can help you recover quickly from the flu or a cold:

  • Drink plenty of fluids (6-8 glasses per day). Try drinking hot fluids to help with nasal and chest congestion.
  • Humidify the air using a vaporizer (either cool mist or warm mist works). This will help relieve a sore throat or dry cough.
  • Get enough rest. Fatigue can increase the duration of symptoms. Staying in bed will also avoid spreading the infection to others.
  • Use saline drops or spray to loosen nasal congestion.
  • Use non-medicated hard lozenges or candy to soothe a sore throat or cough.
  • Gargle with salt water to relieve a dry throat.
  • Stop or reduce smoking. People who smoke tend to get colds more often. Their colds also last longer and they cough more frequently.