Influenza is caused by a virus that attacks the airways. It can give you fever, headache, aching muscles as well as coughing and difficulty breathing.
If you have caught the flu and have fever and your body aches, you probably just want to stay in bed. And so you should. The body will normally fight the flu on its own and make you recover. Step up your fluid intake and stay in bed until you feel better and feel like walking around a little or sitting in a chair. Do what feels best for you.
You can take painkillers to ease your headache and help relieve your aching body. Painkillers will also reduce fever. You can use tablets or mixture which contain paracetamol or acetylsalicylic acid, possibly with codeine. Follow the dose recommended in the package leaflet, and ask the advice of a doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure.
The flu normally lasts for two to seven days, but it may be several weeks before you feel fully recovered. This is also the case for strong and healthy people. The body needs rest, and you should expect to slow down in the first weeks after illness. Reduce your activity level, and make sure to rest. If you push yourself too hard, you risk being ill for a longer period.
Seek the advice of a doctor immediately if you have asthma or another lung disease. If you are normally in good health, you do not need to consult a doctor at first. But if the illness persists, if new symptoms arise, or if you develop a 'productive' cough (when phlegm is coughed up), you should contact your doctor.
You should also seek the advice of a doctor if your coughing and breathing do not improve within a couple of days.