Skip to main content

Homemade survival kits battle the flu

By Jareen Imam, CNN
updated 9:15 AM EST, Tue January 15, 2013
<a href='http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-908436'>James Preston</a> of Chewton Mendip, England, is hunkering down as he battles what he calls the worst stage of his "man-flu." His flu survival kit consists of a variety of home remedies, medicine and snacks, such as apple juice, cough drops and French bread for his soup. James Preston of Chewton Mendip, England, is hunkering down as he battles what he calls the worst stage of his "man-flu." His flu survival kit consists of a variety of home remedies, medicine and snacks, such as apple juice, cough drops and French bread for his soup.
HIDE CAPTION
Flu survival kits
Flu survival kits
Flu survival kits
Flu survival kits
Flu survival kits
Flu survival kits
Flu survival kits
Flu survival kits
Flu survival kits
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The flu has been reported in 47 states across the nation
  • Although the spread of the flu has slowed, widespread activity is still reported
  • Illness has led people on social media to post photos of their flu survival kits
  • Flu survival kits consist of medications, fluids and home remedies

(CNN) -- The early flu season has spiked a fury of "germaphobia" across the United States as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that the flu has reached epidemic levels. Widespread activity is projected to continue.

As the fear of contracting the flu spread, so did the trend of crafting flu survival kits. Photo-sharing communities such as Instagram filled with photos of products people were using to battle the flu, from Vitamin C to favorite movies to even a swig of whiskey. Take a look at some of the survival kits above, and read on to hear from their creators about home remedies for surviving the flu.

Eric Madsen says he refuses to get sick. As the wave of coughing and sniffling started peaking in New Jersey, he started loading up his system with water, tea and vitamin packs such as Emergen-C, which claim to boost immune systems through Vitamin C and other ingredients.

The 32-year-old says the keys to staving off the flu for him were these supplements, hydration and "hot sauce on every meal."

CDC director takes your flu questions
Flu epidemic: What you need to know
Flu fear goes to Hollywood

Middle school teacher Amanda Hanson of Las Vegas wasn't so lucky. She caught the flu a week ago, running a fever of 102 degrees.

She says she is feeling better now thanks to her survival kit, which is made up of medications, water, blankets and Netflix -- "a must." Hanson also credits her Neti Pot with helping her recover. "(It's) a life saver. ... I use my Neti Pot for everything," she said.

Jaclyn Kunz, 28, says this season's flu made her the sickest she's ever been. The East Rockaway, New York, librarian says she did not get a flu shot this year "because I never have before, and I didn't think it was necessary."

Besides cold and flu medication, "lots of rest and bad TV" was her prescription for survival.

Of course, not everyone who got a flu shot went unscathed, as the vaccine protects only against certain strains.

Nurse Rachel James, 24, got the flu shot, but ended up catching the flu anyway, alongside a "horribly painful sore throat," she said. But "I would still get the flu shot again next year to protect from as many strains as possible," she added.

During her recovery, James has been using throat spray, lozenges, disinfectants, soups, tissues and masks to prevent spreading the illness to her family. But she adds that frozen Slurpees and Theraflu have been soothing her sore throat, too.

"It's like magic in a cup," she said.

Another drink that can work wonders for flu sufferers? The traditional hot toddy. James Preston of Chewton Mendip, England, who says he's spent his past few sick days watching movies "and feeling sorry for myself," says it's one of the most soothing remedies. He makes the warm drink with ginger, honey and lemon -- and maybe a splash of whiskey.

A similar option is Christen Lassiter's drink of choice: chopped garlic, ginger and lemon mixed together in her tea.

But despite all the home remedies and survival kits, the 30-year-old Miami resident says rest is the ultimate key to recovery.

"I can't stress it enough, rest is imperative to get healed," she said.

If you have the flu, how are you treating it? Send CNN iReport photos of your flu survival kits.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Cold & Flu Season
updated 5:33 PM EDT, Wed October 1, 2014
A respiratory virus called Enterovirus D68 has sent hundreds of children to the hospital. CNN's Elizabeth Cohen explains.
updated 3:33 PM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
This type of enterovirus is uncommon but not new. We've seen less than 100 cases in the United States since it was identified.
updated 4:50 PM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
What are the symptoms of Enterovirus D68? When should you take your child to the doctor?
updated 7:28 AM EDT, Thu September 5, 2013
Many parents don't realize that the worst asthma day of the year actually occurs in September.
updated 10:41 AM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
As a first-grade teacher, Julie Miller is exposed to a horrifying number of germs on a daily basis.
updated 2:36 PM EST, Fri January 11, 2013
Flu vaccine myths can confuse people trying to decide whether to get a shot. Here are five common myths.
updated 7:53 AM EDT, Mon October 14, 2013
Your joints ache, your head feels heavy, you can't stop coughing, you're freezing even as your temperature keeps climbing. What now?
updated 5:59 PM EST, Wed January 9, 2013
What do you need to know when it comes to flu germs? CNN's Lisa Sylvester reports.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT