So you're tucked up in bed with your box of tissues waiting for the painkillers to kick in and get your temperature down. But are you doing the right thing? Research has shown that fever is one of the body's most powerful antiviral weapons, because many viruses cannot replicate above the normal body temperature. Studies have also shown that lowering the body temperature to normal leads to greater production and shedding of the virus and consequently more chance of transmission to other people. To make things worse, people who take painkillers and begin to feel better often go back to work while they are still infectious and this results in even more spreading of the virus. The medical profession appear to be split on this one. Group A continue with the advice to take paracetamol for Flu and Group B suggest avoiding the use of the drugs and say the fever won't hurt and it may help. So you could take to your bed without the medication, Dickensian style, and wait for the family to all rush in dramatically declaring 'the fever's broken!' and find that you have actually recovered very quickly.
Check out the Patient QI Flu strategy: http://www.patientqi.com/flu-treatment-strategy/