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Tips For Dealing With A Minor Fever From The Flu

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If you are an otherwise healthy adult, a mild fever due to the flu can typically be handled at home. It may be uncomfortable and make you feel a bit miserable, but it's not overly dangerous if it is under 103 degrees F. Here are some ways to help bring your fever down, while also dealing with the sweating, irritability, and dehydration that can coincide with a fever.

1. Dress Lightly

You may feel chilly from time to time, but your body temperature is high—and it is important not to drive it any higher. Dress in light clothing, like shorts and a tee-shirt. You may feel a little chilly as the chills come on, but it's best not to layer on blankets and hoodies.

2. Take a Cool Bath

Fill the bath tub with water that feels cool, but not so cold that the idea of climbing into it is unpleasant. Sink into the bath, and relax. This will not only help bring your body temperature down, but it will also help keep you from sweating so much, which helps to prevent dehydration. Stay in the cool bath for as long as you like. If you do not enjoy baths, you could take a cool shower instead.

3. Sip Cool Fluids

If you become dehydrated, your fever and other flu symptoms will just get worse. Sip some cool liquids, like a sports drink or diluted juice. The cool liquid will help lower your body temperature and also keep you comfortable. Keep a glass filled with cool fluid next to you at all times so you can sip it slowly. This helps when you don't have a big appetite and can't handle the idea of drinking a whole glass of fluid at once.

4. Soak Your Feet in Cool Water

If you are having trouble staying cool while sitting on the couch and otherwise relaxing, fill up a pan with cool water and immerse your feet in it. The water will draw heat out through your feet, and it will also feel good. You can also put some Epsom salts in the water if you like. They won't help ease your fever, but they will help ease muscle soreness—another common problem with the flu.

5. Don't Do Too Much

If you're too active when you have a fever, you may drive your body temperature even higher. So, as tempted as you may be to power through your flu, you need to rest. Take a break, sit on the sofa, and catch up on your favorite shows. If family members are around, have them do things like make dinner and clean up around the house while you take time to rest. Even after your fever breaks, give yourself a day or two to recover so your fever does not come back.

6. Take Ibuprofen

If you are able to take ibuprofen, take the dose recommended on the bottle. Not only does this medication relieve pain, but it helps reduce fevers. You should notice your fever start to subside within an hour. You can take another dose 4–6 hours later, or as often the bottle recommends, but do not take more than is recommended. 

If you follow the tips above, you should be able to stay comfortable and keep your fever under control. Do monitor your fever with a thermometer. If your temperature exceeds 103 degrees F, do head to a nearby medical clinic for diagnosis and treatment. At this level, a fever can be dangerous, and you may need medical treatment to bring it down before you suffer any longer-lasting health consequences.