Coronavirus or the Flu: Which is a greater threat and how hydration is critical to recovery

February 25, 2020

Coronavirus or the Flu: Which is a greater threat and how hydration is critical to recovery

Coronavirus or the Flu:
Which is a greater threat and how hydration is critical to recovery

Posted on 2/25/20• Written by Trisha Stavinoha, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, TSAC-F

Coronavirus or the Flu: which is a great threat?

News about the Coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, has sparked concern and fear among people all over the world. This virus is very similar to the flu in that it attacks the respiratory system and is deadly if left untreated. There is significant concern about this virus because there is no vaccine to prevent it nor is there specific antiviral treatment. As of 24 February 2020, there were 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, 14 originating in the US with 39 repatriated from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship or from Wuhan, China. All cases contained. Contrast that to the flu. Since the 2019-2020 flu season began in October, over 20 million Americans in every state have had some degree if the illness with over 14,000 deaths! Worldwide, COVID-19 has infected 75,000 with 2,000 deaths. The common flu, which draws very little attention and has a vaccination has infected more people in Texas alone than COVID-19 has worldwide. This information will likely change. Visit the CDC website for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the incidence of COVID-19 and the flu in the United States.

This article is not meant to scare anyone but to appreciate the impact of the common flu and to educate our customers on how to prevent the flu and how hydration can help treat the symptoms.

The best way to combat the flu is to not get it! Get a flu shot. This is critical if you are a child, over 65 years old, pregnant, have asthma, have a suppressed immune system, or work in a hospital where you are surrounded by sick people. Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating, after using the restroom, and after blowing your nose. Carry hand sanitizer with you. If you have to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with your arm and not your hand.

If you think you may have the flu, early treatment is the best way to a full recovery. See your doctor if you have any of the symptoms below. Unless you have been to China or on a cruise, it is highly doubtful you have COVID-19.

Hydration: critical to recovery

Fever is the number one symptom for both illnesses. When we have a fever, our body temperature rises. Fluids help regulate body temperature. If we are dehydrated, it is easier to get a fever. The easiest way to monitor hydration status is by checking your urine. If your urine is dark, smelly or infrequent, you are very likely to be dehydrated and should increase fluids. You should pass urine every 3-4 hours. If you feel you are getting sick, do a hydration self-check and get at least 2-3 liters of water daily. If you do get a fever, drinking 16-32 oz Cerasport® or Cerasport EX1® can help hydrate and cool your body and break the fever. If you have chills and normally turn to soup, try our chicken broth Ceralyte 70® flavor. Mix one 10-gram stick in 7 ounces (200 ml) warm water and enjoy.

When we have a runny nose and sneeze constantly, we are losing fluids and electrolytes. Nasal mucus is salty. I am not going to quantify how much fluid you lose per blow, but you can probably prevent dehydration (and fever) by increasing your fluid intake with 16-32 oz of Cerasport or EX1 in addition to your water.

Did you know that diarrhea has twice the amount of sodium as sweat? This is why we dehydrate so quickly with diarrhea. Children are more susceptible to diarrhea with the flu. If your child has diarrhea, give him/her Ceralyte 50 or Ceralyte 70. Both are appropriate for use in children. Ceralyte 50 comes in a mixed berry flavor and Ceralyte 70 comes in lemon or chicken broth flavors. Drink 16-32 oz of Ceralyte 50® for a light case and Ceralyte 70 for a more severe case of diarrhea. Keep drinking Ceralyte until the diarrhea has subsided. Unlike most products targeted to sick children, all of Cera products have zero fructose and zero added sugar. We use rice instead of sugar! The Ceralyte 70 lemon comes in a convenient 8 ounce ready to drink container and they all come in 10-gram packets you mix with 7 ounces (200 ml) water that are easy to travel with.

Headache is a symptom of dehydration and is also common with the flu. Consume 16-32 oz Cerasport EX1 at the onset of a headache. Our EX1 comes in orange, lime and pomegranate flavors. Each stick mixes in 16 ounces (500 ml) water.

Now is a good time to reinforce good, flu preventing behaviors. Hydration is one of them. Aim for 2-3 liters of water daily. If you use a reusable water bottle, don’t forget to wash it, especially if you are sick! Carry hand sanitizer with you and always travel with your Cera!

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Thank you for being loyal customers and please stay healthy. For more information on preventing or treating the flu and the most accurate information on COVID-19, visit the Center for Disease Control website at and

For more information on Cera Products, please reach out to our dietitian, Trisha, at and visit our website   

Use RICE in your sports drink, save the sugar for your cookies.

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