Can You Get Flu Twice in a Month?
The answer to this question is YES! You can get flu twice a month, but the cause of the flu will be a different type of virus. As once you have caught flu, your body develops antibodies to that particular virus; however, it does not necessarily mean that you have developed immunity to other strains of virus. It is highly recommended to get a vaccine shot even after developing the flu to protect yourself from catching the flu with other types of viruses.
Majority of the pathogens are extremely stable, which is why vaccines for mumps, measles, HPV etc. need not be given every year. However, as there is rapid mutation of the flu virus, a person needs to take a flu shot every year. Even after taking a vaccine for a particular virus subtype, there can be development of a new mutation of the virus which the vaccine hasn’t covered. This has become a huge cause for concern for the health officials, as if this continues even after yearly flu vaccinations, then there is a chance of a huge outbreak of the flu.
So, in a nutshell, you cannot exactly catch the same flu; and as flu viruses mutate, it gives rise to different types of the virus. Catching flu from one type of virus does not protect you from another. Even after having had the flu vaccine, a person can catch a different strain of the flu virus.
What To Do When You Have Flu?
Rest At Home
When suffering from flu, it is important to abstain from your professional duties and pay heed to your flu and get plenty of rest. It is important to take some time off your work, school, college etc. so that you and your body can recover from the flu. Try to look at the positive side of your flu and relax at home with a good book or simply cat-napping whilst your body fights the flu.
Don’t Forget The Fluids
When suffering from flu, it is important to up your fluid intake to prevent dehydration. Apart from water, you can also drink fruit juices, tea, broth; and chicken soup especially is very beneficial in flu. Drinking lots of fluids hydrates the respiratory system and helps in thinning of the stubborn mucus so it can be coughed out.
Take Care of Your Fever & Body Aches
The body temperature increases to fight the flu. Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, help in bringing down the fever and the various aches and pains of the flu. However, aspirin should not be given to patients under the age of 18, as aspirin is linked to Reye’s syndrome, which is a fatal illness.
Inhale Some Steam
Fill a small tub with hot water and add a teaspoon of menthol rub to it. Inhale the vapors or this steam for some minutes till you find relief in your congestion. A few drops of eucalyptus or menthol oil can also be added to the hot water and the steam from it should be inhaled. This helps in opening the airways, easing the congestion, and helps to breathe easy.
Don’t Ignore Your Cough
Over-the-counter cough medications greatly help in calming that annoying cough. Expectorant cough syrups help in turning the mucus into liquid so that you can cough it out easily. However, over-the-counter cold or cough medicines should not be given to children under the age of 4.
Make Use of Humidifier
A vaporizer or a humidifier lends moisture to the dry air, which helps in easing the cough and congestion of the flu. But it is important to clean the device regularly to prevent the development of mold.
Steam Up Your Bathroom
If you are still feeling congested from the flu, then you can do one more thing. Close the bathroom door and turn on the hot shower until the bathroom is filled with moist steam. Sit in the bathroom for some minutes and inhale this steam to get rid of your stuffiness.
Try Saline Nose Drops
Saline nose sprays or drops are safe to use and help a lot in unblocking your stuffy nose from the flu. Put some drops of saline water into one nostril, and gently blow the saline and mucus out. Do the same for the other nostril until both are unblocked and mucus free.
Suck On A Lozenge
Sucking on lozenges moistens and soothes the scratchy throat of the flu by coating it and also helps in relieving the cough from the flu.
Don’t Hesitate To Use An Antiviral
Antiviral medicines taken at the beginning of the flu can help in shortening and lessening the flu. Some of the antiviral medicines which can be used are oseltamivir, zanamivir and peramivir. Antiviral medicines are effective if they are taken within the first 48 hours of the flu symptoms. They also help in preventing flu after exposure.