6. There's an upside to early-stage treatment. By detecting the flu within 24 to 48 hours, taking prescription antiviral medication like Tamiflu, and deciding to stay home, individuals without a preexisting disease can expedite their recovery time by a day or so, according to Lynch. If you go the over-the-counter route, he recommends DayQuil, NyQuil, and Tylenol as medicines that will at least help you feel better. Still, Lynch notes that recovery is ultimately based on allowing your immune system time to recover. "There's nothing to do really except symptom management," he says. "Thinking better, drinking a lot of water, taking Tylenol is not going to make the virus go away faster. It's really your immune system."
7. Inadequate treatment could worsen your condition. Being struck with the flu is bad enough, but be aware that it could potentially morph into either viral pneumonia or bacterial pneumonia. "The thing that can be really dangerous is when people have that viral pneumonia and then they get that bacterial pneumonia on top of it," Lynch says. As the CDC notes, such complications can be life-threatening.
If you're unfortunate enough to attract the flu in the weeks ahead, you'll face a choice: Eight hours in the office or in your bed? Hopefully your better judgement will kick in.