What Should Be Done About Persistent Cold And Flu Symptoms?

My wife has had the flu for about two weeks or more. She coughs and hacks a lot, and her chest is very tight, heavy and sore. Also, she has a very sore throat and coughs up a lot of phlegm. Any advice on what to do?

Well, the good news is that your wife should be feeling better soon. The symptoms you describe can all be typical of influenza. The bad news is that there isn’t a lot you can do. Keep an eye on that cough, and if it continues for a total of more than three or four weeks, give your doctor a call.

Also check with your doctor if your wife is age 60 or older, or has a weakened immune system (for example, from chemotherapy). In such cases, influenza can sometimes lead to dangerous complications, such as pneumonia. There are a couple of anti-viral medications that may be useful, but you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons with your doctor.

Other than that, use all the tried and true home remedies. Plenty of sleep and fluids are the most important. She can take cough syrup and other drug store remedies to treat her symptoms as needed. Inhaling steam may help. Cool mist humidifiers or vaporizers can be good, especially the air in your house is dry.

Looking ahead, consider getting flu shots to reduce the chances that either of you will have to suffer another bout like this one.

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