"There's a good reason Mom made you chicken soup when you were sick. It has fluids, electrolytes, a little bit of protein and enough nutrients to help you fight off your illness. You should feel better by resting, drinking fluids and taking medicines that help with your symptoms, including anti-inflammatories like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These will help with fever and pains. You can take nausea medicines that your ER doc prescribed, cough medicines and anti-histamines to help with your congestion. This type of treatment is called supportive care and is meant to help you feel better as your body's immune system fights off your infection. Most viruses are contagious, either by touching, sharing items, or on droplets and particles in the air. For most infections, you were most contagious while you had your fever. But as long as you have symptoms, you can spread the infection to your family, friends, coworkers, or anyone else with whom you have contact. Hand-washing and masks, as well as social distancing, is the best way to prevent the spread of viruses and the best way not to catch them. Schools generally require children to be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school. This is a good rule of thumb for adults as well. If you need a work or a school note that lasts beyond what the ER doc wrote, call your primary care office. The coronavirus pandemic has provided a crash course in staying safe from viral infections. Limiting contact with sick people is a great start to prevent infection. Hand-washing and masks as well as social distancing is the best way to prevent the spread of viruses, and the best way not to catch them. Some viruses are transmitted through body fluids. So good bathroom hygiene is also very important. Coughing or sneezing into an elbow is better than using your hands. Avoiding touching your face or eating with your hands is also helpful."
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