The 24-hour flu is a very common illness which can plague anyone anytime. It can be caused by a variety of viruses and can have various symptoms, so sometimes it is really difficult to correctly identify the flu. In fact, the symptoms mainly depend on the virus that has attacked the body, and usually last for about 24 hours, but sometimes the flu may drag on for as long as 10 days.
Symptoms of 24-Hour Flu
- Chills – The 24-hour flu causes uncontrollable chills in the patient, causing his teeth to chatter and his body to shiver constantly. In fact, the chills are so severe that one can’t even stand up properly. Warm liquids like milk and soup and broth can help you reduce the chills to some extent.
- Headaches – Headaches are the most common symptom of the 24-hour flu. It marks the start of this flu and can cause you severe discomfort. A nap can reduce the headaches to a great level. You can also take pain medications to counter the headaches.
- Vomiting – If you are suffering from the 24-hour flu, you are bound to get vomiting tendencies. In fact, the continuous bout of vomiting that the flu causes even leads to a loss of appetite, which can in turn lead to even more serious complications. Stay away from solid food while you are going through this phase, just stick to liquid food which is easier to digest.
- Fatigue – Experiencing fatigue is a common symptom of the 24-hour flu. Your body is constantly trying to kill the virus affecting your body, resulting in constant fatigue. This is why lots of rest is very important during this time.
- Diarrhea – Diarrhea is a serious concern when dealing with the 24-hour flu. It can easily lead to dehydration, and hence pave the path for more complications, especially in children and the elderly. One should always consume liquids with electrolytes when suffering from diarrhea during the flu, or anything to replenish the water content of the body.
What causes the 24-hour flu?
The 24-hour flu is a troublesome disease which can plague your life for as long as 10 days. Of course there are vaccinations to reduce their effects and protect you from future bouts of the flu, however, one needs to be aware of the various causes of this disease to be completely careful.
- Contaminated food – Contaminated food is one of the biggest causes of the 24-hour flu. Food should be well covered and preserved properly to prevent contamination by the flu virus, because one really can’t tell otherwise if the food is affected or not. Apart from food, other agents may also be contaminated by the virus, so be careful.
- Rotaviruses – Rotaviruses cause the 24-hour flu in kids. They do not show the symptoms outright and silently harm the body from within. Children pick it up when they play in the dirt and then put their fingers in their mouth. Adults can get it from their kids.
- Noroviruses – These 24-hour flu viruses are food borne and spread quickly, especially among family members and neighbors. If the patient lives in a cramped area, it won’t be long before people around him also start getting affected by the virus.
Treatment for the flu
There are various natural ways to treat yourself if you have contracted the 24-hour flu. Let’s have a look at all the treatment options available.
Due to the constant fatigue that the body experiences all the time during the 24-hour flu, it is important that you get abundant rest to replenish your energy.
The diarrhea problem of the 24-hour flu causes severe dehydration in the body which can lead to other complications. To prevent that, it is important that you rehydrate your body with large amounts of electrolytic liquids and water. Consume at least 3 liters of water when you have the flu symptoms. Those who have gastroenteritis should avoid consumption of large amounts of water and get a suitable oral rehydration solution after consulting with their doctor. One thing to avoid during this period is apple juice as it is known to increase diarrhea tendencies, and hence increase dehydration in the body.
Sometimes antibiotics can also help in the treatment of the 24-hour flu. However, antibiotics also run the risk of increasing your vomiting, so it is best to consult with the doctor before taking them. A suitable antibiotic for the flu is fluoroquinolone.
- OTC medicines
OTC medicines like Pepto Bismol can treat a mild version of the 24-hour flu because of the bismuth subsalicylate present in them.
- Healthy eating
Eating healthy can do a great deal to prevent and treat the 24-hour flu. You should dispose of contaminated food as quickly as possible, and avoid consuming alcohol, caffeine and nicotine during the flu. Children should be kept away from sugary items as that can enhance the effects of the flu. You should also try to pace yourself while eating as being too quick can make you feel squeamish.
- Anti-diarrheal agents
Medications which prevent diarrhea, like loperamide, can be of great help during the 24-hour flu. It not only prevents excessive diarrhea but also helps restore the water content of the body. However, these medicines should be kept away from child patients.
What to do during the 24-hour flu ?
Even though it is normal for the 24-hour flu to last for around 10 days, you should still be wary and consult your doctor as soon as possible. For example, if you have been vomiting for more than 2 days and are extremely dehydrated, or if you notice blood in your bowel movements or while vomiting, don’t hesitate to call the doctor. A fever of over 104 degrees Fahrenheit should also be reported to the doctor as soon as possible.
Parents need to be extra careful with infants as it is harder to tell the symptoms in babies. If your child does not wet the diaper for over 6 hours, or seems extra sleepy all the time, you should take them to the pediatrician. A dry mouth or lack of tears while crying is also indicative of the 24-hour flu.