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Cold and Flu Center

How to Get Rid of the Flu Virus

author image Sharisa Lewis
Sharisa Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for and various other websites. She launched the Washington Post's Health Section. Lewis' work experience also includes producing, editing and writing for AOL News, and PBS Online. She has a Master of Public Policy from American University and a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.
How to Get Rid of the Flu Virus
A man is lying in bed feeling sick. Photo Credit: Mike Watson Images/moodboard/Getty Images

Flu treatments won't get rid of the virus, but they can relieve the symptoms. Some treatments can even shorten the length of time the flu virus spends in your body. Stay home from work, school or other public activities if you have the flu. You will need to get plenty of rest and drink lots of liquids.

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How to Get Rid of the Flu Virus

Step 1

See a doctor when you start to feel flu-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, fever, cough and body aches. If you catch the symptoms early, you may be able to take an antiviral to shorten the flu duration.

Step 2

Treat the flu symptoms, such as nasal drip, cough, fever, aches or congestion. Get pain relief from over-the-counter medications if you need relief from the symptoms of the flu until the virus passes.

Step 3

Take precautions to prevent the spread of the flu: Wash hands frequently, use a tissue when sneezing, use a disinfectant hand gel and avoid touching your eyes and hands.

Step 4

Disinfect areas of your home that may be keeping the flu virus alive, such as doorknobs or hand rails. Wash clothes and sheets to get rid of the flu virus faster.

Step 5

Try some natural home remedies to relieve flu symptoms: Take a warm bath or steam shower to open airways, sleep with a humidifier, use a saline nasal rinse, suck on cough drops to soothe an itchy throat, eat chicken soup and garlic.

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