:: Health Conditions - Flu
- Influenza Treatments
Learning the facts about Influenza is the first step toward
treatments and protecting yourself.
The Influenza, or Flu, is a respiratory infection and it is
highly contagious. It is most common in the fall and winter,
and is caused mainly by viruses called type A and type B influenza
viruses. These enter the body through the mouth, nose and
When a person with the flu coughs or sneezes, the virus becomes
airborne and can be inhaled by anyone nearby. School-age children
are often the first to get the influenza, which they carry
home and to other places in the community.
The influenza generally strikes 1 to 3 days after exposure
to the virus. Fever is one indicator of the flu in all age
groups. However, fever alone is not sufficient for a flu diagnosis.
Common influenza symptoms have been identified for three different
1. Children younger than age 5
2. Adults and children 5 years of
age and older
3. Elderly individuals
1. Recognizing influenza in children
younger than age 5.
Call your pediatrician if your child complains of or if you
- nasal inflammation
- sore throat.
Influenza Treatment: Tamiflu attacks the influenza virus
and stops it from spreading inside the body.Tamiflu
suspension is very usefully for children who don't like
2. Recognizing influenza in adults
and children 5 years of age and older.
Review these common flu symptoms. Are you or someone you care
about experiencing some or all of them?
- muscle and joint pain
- fatigue and weakness
- sore throat.
If you answered yes, you should call your doctor immediately.
Get a diagnosis within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms
and, if appropriate, your doctor can prescribe an antiviral
medication such as Tamiflu
and Amatadine. Tamiflu attacks
the influenza virus and stops it from spreading inside the
3. Recognizing flu in the 50+ population.
Older family members are also susceptible to the flu virus.
Common influenza symptoms for individuals aged 50 and older
- fever higher than 99°F
- fatigue and weakness
- nasal obstruction.
If a family member is experiencing some or all of these symptoms,
call your doctor immediately and ask about antiviral medication
such as Tamiflu and
Knowing the dangers of influenza
A bad case of the flu will probably send a healthy adult or
child to bed for 3 to 5 days. Afterward, the person will recover
fully, but cough and tiredness may persist for days or weeks.
Nonetheless, the flu can be a serious illness. Each year,
up to 60 million Americans develop the flu, and more than
200,000 are hospitalized.
People with chronic illnesses and those aged 50 and older
are more likely than others to become seriously ill with the
influenza virus, and to develop other serious infections such
as pneumonia. If you are elderly or have a chronic disease
such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or HIV, call your
doctor at the first sign of flu symptoms.
Influenza Treatments - Other
ways to take care:
It will help you get better and keep you from spreading the
flu virus. Flu is contagious for 3 or 4 days after symptoms
You should drink plenty of fluids, which your body needs to
• Temporary Relief.
For soothing symptoms, hot liquids may relieve the feeling
of congestion. Taking a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen,
may lessen aches and fever. Other "over the counter"
therapies–while not treating the virus that causes flu—may
also temporarily relieve influenza symptoms.
Of course, never give aspirin to a child under 12 who has
the flu, or any fever-causing illness, due to the risk of
a serious adverse effect known as Reye's syndrome.
Can the flu be
cured with antibiotics?
No. Antibiotics are only useful for treating bacterial infections.
Because the influenza is a viral infection, it cannot be treated
with antibiotics. Antivirals such as Tamiflu
are the only prescription medications that can treat the flu.