5 Mistakes Everyone Makes When They Get the Flu

Going to Work

sick at work
Don't go to work when you are sick. Image Source/Getty Images

Not only is going to sick when you have the flu bad for you, it's bad for your co-workers. You almost certainly won't be productive when you have a fever and feel like you have been hit by a truck. You will also spread your germs around the office and likely make the people around you sick as well. And no one will thank you for that. 

If you have the flu, stay home until you feel better. Or at least until you are no longer contagious

Wait Too Long To Seek Treatment

Doctor time
Don't wait too long to call the doctor. Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images

There are prescription medications available to treat the flu but they are most effective if taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. If you wait longer than that to call your doctor, you probably won't benefit from them. That could mean suffering from more severe flu symptoms for longer than you would have otherwise. 

It is important to note that your health care provider may not feel antiviral medications are necessary for you. If there is a shortage or you have no risk factors for flu complications, she might not prescribe Tamiflu or another antiviral flu medication. Although they can be helpful, they aren't always necessary if you are likely to recover without any problems. 

Try To Do Too Much

workout when sick
Should you exercise when you don't feel well?. MjDigitalArt/E+/Getty Images

Whether you are determined to keep up your workout routine, don't sleep enough or you want to have sex even when you shouldn't, pushing yourself too hard will only make it harder to recover. Giving yourself time to rest and heal is the most important thing you can do when you have the flu. 

It can be hard to put things off when you aren't feeling well but still have so much to do. But it's really the only way to make sure you get better. 

Believe Common Myths

Essential oils
How effective are essential oils?. Jessica Boone/The Image Bank/Getty Images

There are so many myths and misconceptions passed around about the flu. From ways to prevent it to remedies to cure it, you have almost certainly heard many of them and may believe some are true. Before you put your faith into these rumors, get the facts and save your money, time and health. 

Just because someone you know posts something on Facebook, that doesn't make it true. It's alarming just how many remedies are passed around on social media that have absolutely no basis in science. Please do your research or ask your health care provider before you believe or try claims that are posted on the internet. 

Ignore Your Symptoms

man coughing
Don't ignore worsening flu symptoms. Paul Bradbury/OJO Images/Getty Images

One of the worst things you can do when you have the flu is to ignore your symptoms when they get worse or don't go away. You may have developed a secondary infection or complication as a result of the flu and ignoring your symptoms may be dangerous. 

If you have symptoms that last longer than a week without improving at all or if you start to get better for a few days then get much worse, contact your health care provider or seek medical attention. These are signs that you may have developed another infection and you might need a different type of treatment.


"What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs". Treatment - Antiviral Drugs 16 Sep 15. Seasonal Influenza (Flu). US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Department of Health and Human Services. 27 Dec 15.

"The Flu: What To Do If You Get Sick". Treatment - Antiviral Drugs 14 Aug 14. Seasonal Influenza (Flu). US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Department of Health and Human Services. 27 Dec 15. 

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