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Flu Survival Kit: A Self-Care Kit for Your Home

Keep these medicines and remedies on hand in case the flu bug bites.

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Fluids to Rehydrate When You Have the Flu

What to Get: Options include plain water, bottled water, sports-rehydrating drinks, children's rehydrating drinks such as Pedialyte, ginger ale, flat soda, and chicken soup. Surviving the flu is more comfortable if you stay hydrated.

What to Know, How to Take Them: When you are battling the flu, aim to drink enough fluids to make your urine clear or light yellow, which indicates proper hydration, suggests pharmacist Vibhuti Arya. Ginger ale or flat soda can help calm stomach upset, says Arroyo. "Stay away from milk and orange juice," King suggests, "because with the flu you tend to have nausea and milk and citrus can aggravate nausea."  

It could help to keep track of your fluid intake. "A lot of people think they drink more [fluids] than they do," King says. Staying hydrated can help loosen the secretions, some research suggests.

The medicinal effects of chicken soup on flu and colds have been discussed and debated since the Middle Ages. But a study published in 2000 in the journal Chest found that chicken soup reduced the migration of a kind of white blood cell called a neutrophil, thought responsible for producing some of the symptoms of flu, at least in the laboratory.

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Reviewed on October 18, 2007

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