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Don’t try to break a fever with a cold shower

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You may have been told by a parent or grandparent that an ice bath or cold shower is a good way to quickly lower a fever. But cold water will actually spike your temperature higher, says Patricia Whitley-Williams, MD, division chief of allergy, immunology, and infectious diseases in pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Lukewarm water is best for helping to break fevers, she says. Make sure you’re up-to-date on your flu knowledge with these 10 influenza facts.

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Don’t assume it’s too late for Tamiflu

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Although antibiotics won’t fix the flu, prescription antiviral medications like Tamiflu can. Antivirals work best if you take them within a day or two of getting sick; some people still benefit if they take antivirals later, according to the CDC. The CDC recommends that everyone at high risk of complications from the flu be treated with antivirals right away—even if a lab test hasn’t yet confirmed the virus. Learn how to Textured Spandex Animal PU Bumpy Flip Animal Sandals Jekyl Mens Ripple Flop wqqYxtSfp.

Don’t go to a dinner party (or any other party)

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You may miss your social life, but “if you have influenza, you shouldn’t be overly social with others, even with mild symptoms,” warns Amesh Adalja, MD, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Respiratory droplets containing the virus can travel six to eight feet in the air. What’s more, drinking alcohol can dehydrate you and weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off the virus. Be sure to avoid these 6 other foods or drinks that can make a cold or flu worse.

Don’t “double-dip” on medication

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Many of us automatically reach for a Tylenol (also known as acetaminophen) to soothe body aches and lower a fever. But be careful if you’re taking over-the-counter meds to treat coughing, congestion, or sleeplessness, too. Many of these “multisymptom” products also contain acetaminophen—and doubling up on this medication can lead to liver damage. In a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, in which 500 people were given a choice of several cold and flu treatments, nearly half would have accidentally “double-dipped” and gotten too high a dose of the pain reliever.

Don’t ease up on fluids

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“Staying hydrated with water, decaffeinated tea, sports drinks, and sugar-free drinks is best to help fight dehydration associated with fever,” says Dr. Tong. Although studies are mixed, some experts say that liquids—especially hot liquids like tea and soup—can temporarily thin mucus, helping you feel less congested.

Don’t ask your doctor for antibiotics

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Both the common cold and the flu are caused by viruses, and antibiotics only work for bacterial infections. Not only will the drugs not help your flu, but they could even harm you. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them can lead bacteria to become resistant, making them harder to kill, according to the CDC. These so-called superbugs can stick around in your body and cause serious infections later on that may require stronger drugs or even a hospital stay. Try these 10 habits doctors use to avoid the cold and flu.

Don’t try to stick to a hard-core workout schedule

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While light exercise can support your immune system, an intense workout will just make you feel worse. “Living in denial of your illness could do more harm than good,” Dr. Tong says. “Don’t deny yourself sleep or rest. If you love to exercise, dial down the intensity to just walking for a couple of days or until you are feeling better.”

Don’t cough into your hands

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Sure, coughing or sneezing into cupped hands is better than blasting virus-filled droplets into the air. But afterward, you’ll leave a trail of the virus on anything you touch, including the bathroom door when you go to wash your hands. The flu virus can live for hours on even hard objects—potentially infecting others—so cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of your arm, the CDC recommends.

Don’t hang out with a smoker

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This one may seem obvious, since you already know that tobacco smoke—whether you’re the one smoking or not—damages your lungs. But that goes double when you’re sick. Secondhand smoke irritates the lungs and can make congestion and coughing worse, Neelam Taneja-Uppal, MD, an infectious-disease specialist in New York City, told Everyday Health. Make sure you know the 9 clear signs a cold is coming on—and how to stop it.

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