Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine
The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:
- at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
- capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19
The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.
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Tamiflu: What You Need To Know About This Flu Medicine
What you need to know.
New pediatric deaths reported amid flu epidemic
— As the nation weathers what may be the worst flu season in years, many with the illness — and those around them — may find themselves getting prescriptions for a flu antiviral medicine. The most popular such drug is oseltamivir, often known by the brand name Tamiflu.
Below are answers to a few of the most common questions about Tamiflu.
What is Tamiflu and what does it do?
Tamiflu is an antiviral medication that your doctor can prescribe to treat or prevent infection from Influenza A and B. This medication works by preventing the spread of the flu virus in your body. Tamiflu comes in either pill or liquid form.
When is Tamiflu prescribed?
If your doctor suspects that you have the flu, or if you test positive for the flu, antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu can be started at that time. Tamiflu works the best within two days of illness onset, but your doctor may prescribe it beyond that period if he or she thinks it will help.
Your doctor might also prescribe you Tamiflu after exposure to the flu, even if you are not feeling sick. Typically, you will only receive Tamiflu for prevention if you are considered to be at greater risk of developing complications from the flu, like pneumonia. If you have chronic medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease, are older than 65 or are pregnant and have been exposed to the flu, you should speak to your doctor about taking Tamiflu.
Can my child have Tamiflu?
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People Who Need More Than One Influenza Vaccine A Year
There are some people who are recommended to have a second dose of the influenza vaccine within the space of one year. These people include:
- Children less than 9 years of age receiving their influenza vaccine for the first time require 2 doses 4 weeks apart for an adequate immune response.
- People who have had a haematopoietic stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant and are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time after transplant.
- Pregnant women, who may be vaccinated with the next seasons influenza vaccine if it becomes available in the latter part of their pregnancy, even if they were vaccinated with the previous seasons vaccine prior to or earlier in pregnancy.
- Overseas travellers, who may benefit from a second dose of this seasons influenza vaccine if going to the northern hemisphere winter and receiving the northern hemisphere formulation there is not feasible.
Please check with your GP to find out whether you fall into one of these categories.
Can Children Take Antiviral Drugs
Yes, though this varies by medication. Oseltamivir is recommended by CDC for treatment of flu in children beginning from birth and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends oseltamivir for treatment of flu in children 2 weeks old or older. Zanamivir is approved for early treatment of flu in people 7 years and older, though it is not recommended for use in children with underlying respiratory disease, including asthma and other chronic lung diseases. Peramivir is recommended for early treatment in people 2 years and older. Baloxavir is approved for early treatment of flu in people 12 years and older.
If your childs health care provider prescribes oseltamivir capsules for your child and your child cannot swallow capsules, the prescribed capsules may be opened, mixed with a thick sweetened liquid, and given that way. Learn more here.
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Is The Flu Caused By Bacteria
No, the flu is caused by viruses, not bacteria.
Thinking that the flu is caused by bacteria is a common myth, and some people even call any symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea the stomach flu. These symptoms are sometimes related to the flu, but they are not the main symptoms. Bacteria is a common cause of stomach symptoms.
The flu is a respiratory disease, meaning that it stays in your airways. The flu virus does not move to parts of your body other than the nose, mouth, throat, and lungs.
Some respiratory diseases, including pneumonia, strep throat, and whooping cough are caused by bacteria. Since the flu is not caused by bacteria, it is not treated with antibiotics like other infections. The primary flu medicine that might be prescribed by your healthcare provider is an antiviral a type of medication that fights viruses.
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Antiviral Drugs
Side effects vary for each medication. The most common side effects for oseltamivir are nausea and vomiting. Zanamivir can cause bronchospasm, and peramivir can cause diarrhea. Other less common side effects also have been reported. Your health care provider can give you more information about these drugs or you can check the Food and Drug Administration websiteexternal icon for specific information about antiviral drugs, including the manufacturers package insert.
Parents, if your child gets sick with flu, antiviral drugs offer a safe and effective treatment option. For treatment, influenza antiviral drugs should ideally be started within 2 days after becoming sick and taken according to your doctors instructions .
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Fda Approved Drugs For Influenza
There are four FDA-approved influenza antiviral drugs recommended by CDC for use against recently circulating influenza viruses.
Two older drugs, amantadine and rimantadine historically have been approved for treatment and prevention of influenza A virus infection. But many strains of influenza virus, including the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, are now resistant to these drugs. CDC has not recommended the use of amantadine and rimantadine for recently circulating influenza viruses, although recommendations could change if there were future re-emergence of specific virus strains with susceptibility patterns favoring such use.
When Should You Get Tested For The Flu
You may or may not need to get a flu test, based on individual symptoms and risk factors. You may consider getting a flu test as soon as possible after your initial symptoms. This can help determine whether you have the flu and what your flu treatment plan may be. Your doctor can provide additional advice and guidance regarding testing and any next steps for treatment.
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Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot Protect Yourself And Others This Flu Season
The flu isnt like the common cold, it can hit quickly and last for weeks. For some people, the flu can have serious and devastating outcomes. Its important everyone in the community plays their part in helping stop the spread of flu.
Our message is simple: Don’t forget your flu shot. Protect yourself and others this flu season.
Why Get The Flu Vaccine
You never forget the flu, it can hit quickly and last for a few weeks, meaning time off work or school and staying away from family and friends.
The flu doesnt discriminate, and anyone can be affected thats why it’s so important that everyone in the community protects themselves against the flu this season by getting their flu shot.
Find out more about flu immunisation.
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Can Pregnant People Take Antiviral Drugs
Yes. Oral oseltamivir is recommended for treatment of pregnant people with flu because compared to other recommended antiviral medications, it has the most studies available to suggest that it is safe and beneficial during pregnancy. Baloxavir is not recommended for pregnant people or while breastfeeding, as there are no available efficacy or safety data.
What Are The Side Effects Of Flu Vaccines
The flu vaccine is safe and cannot give you the flu. Most people have no problem with a flu vaccine.
The most common side effects are soreness, redness, or swelling where you were vaccinated. Some people also get a headache, fever, nausea, or muscle aches. These side effects may start shortly after getting the vaccine and can last up to two days. They typically do not get in the way of daily activities.
Even people with mild egg allergies can safely get most flu vaccines. Egg-free flu vaccines are also available. You should not get vaccinated if you have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past. Talk with your health care provider about your options for flu vaccines and side effects.
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Can You Get Covid
Yes, it is possible to become infected with both viruses at the same time, the experts said.
But, to be clear, that does not mean that the viruses are somehow combining in your body to become one superinfection. A “flurona” infection is simply having both individual viruses at the same time.
So far, co-infections like these have been rare, Klein explained. And experts don’t know enough yet to say whether or not having both infections at once necessarily means you’ll have more severe symptoms.
When You First Get Sick
Most people will only have mild-to-moderate flu symptoms, and they may only experience some of the possible symptoms of the disease.
The CDC recommend that people who experience any flu symptoms should stay home and rest. They should only leave home to make necessary trips, such as to see their doctor or buy groceries.
Staying inside and resting will help the body fight off the virus. It will also reduce the risk of it spreading to other people.
A person should talk to a doctor as soon as possible after any signs of the flu occur. Doing this is particularly important for people at risk of complications, such as older adults and people who smoke.
The also recommend talking to a doctor about antiviral medication during a local flu outbreak. Antiviral medications can prevent severe symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness.
According to the NIH, an antiviral medication is most effective within the first 48 hours of developing symptoms. Therefore, it is best to talk to a doctor as soon as possible about these treatments.
A doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic if there is a risk of other bacterial infections, such as pneumonia.
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How Do I Know If I Have Influenza
When its flu season, every sniffle can make you wonder if you have influenza. But other illnesses, especially the common cold, also spread widely during the winter months. While most of the tips listed here can apply to any kind of head cold, sometimes its helpful to know when youre dealing with influenza. Here are some suggestions for how to tell the difference.
How To Get The Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine. It’s offered every year on the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.
The best time to have the flu vaccine is in the autumn before flu starts spreading. But you can get the vaccine later.
The flu vaccine is given to people who:
- are 50 and over
- have certain health conditions
- are pregnant
- are in a long-stay residential care
- receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
- live with someone who is more likely to get infections
- frontline health or social care workers
You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:
- your GP surgery
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Look For The Typical Symptoms
Influenza usually causes a sore throat, cough, headache, fever, and tiredness. Unlike the common cold, influenza also causes body aches. Loss of taste or smell, which can be signs of COVID-19, do not usually happen with the flu.
Influenza symptoms generally improve within about 2 weeks. Sinusitis, which is a bacterial infection, might be responsible for symptoms that last longer than that.
What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu
Symptoms of the flu come on suddenly and may include:
Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. This is more common in children.
Sometimes people have trouble figuring out whether they have a cold or the flu. There are differences between them. The symptoms of a cold usually come on more slowly and are less severe than symptoms of the flu. Colds rarely cause a fever or headaches.
Sometimes people say that they have a “flu” when they really have something else. For example, “stomach flu” isn’t the flu it’s gastroenteritis.
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What Are Flu Antiviral Drugs
Flu antiviral drugs are prescription medicines that fight against flu viruses in your body. Antiviral drugs are not sold over the counter. You can only get them if you have a prescription from a health care provider. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections.
Will An Antibiotic Cure Me Of The Flu
No, antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections and do not work on viral infections like the flu. This is another common myth about the flu and possible flu medicine used to treat it.
You might hear people say that they took an antibiotic and it cured them of the flu. Since the flu usually lasts about 5 to 7 days, it might seem that an antibiotic may have helped cure the flu. However, it is likely that the flu just resolved on its own.
Research studies of antiviral flu medicine shows that it can lessen symptoms of the flu and shorten the amount of time youre sick. If you think you may need a flu medicine to help with the flu, you should talk about it with your healthcare provider.
OTC flu medicines, as mentioned above, can help with symptoms but usually do not shorten the flus course.
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When Do I Call The Doctor About Flu Antiviral Drugs
Ideally, you should talk to your doctor about the flu vaccine and antiviral drugs, including side effects, before the flu season begins.
When you do get flu symptoms, it’s important to call your doctor soon after symptoms appear. Flu drugs are most effective when taken within the first 48 hours of flu symptoms, although they may help prevent severe disease when taken later.
American Academy of Family Physicians: “Tips for Treating the Flu.” American Lung Association: “Influenza Fact Sheet.” Mayo Clinic: “Flu Shot: Your best shot for avoiding influenza.” CDC: “Good Health Habits for Prevention ” “Key Facts About Antiviral Drugs and Influenza and “Seasonal Influenza: What You Should Know about Flu Antiviral Drugs.” UpToDate: Antiviral Drugs for the Treatment of Influenza in Adults. FDA: “FDA approves Rapivab to treat flu infection.”
Will Antibiotics Help The Flu
Antibiotics have no effect on the flu. The drugs wont relieve your symptoms, reduce the length of your illness or boost your immunity to other germs. Sure, you may feel better after taking antibiotics, for a simple reason: You were already on the road to recovery. We all tend to seek treatment when our symptoms are at their peak. Over the next few days, as the virus runs its course, you start to feel better. But that would have happened even without medication.
Sometimes, antibiotics can actually make you feel worse. Antibiotics are generally quite safe, but they do carry some risk, says Daniel Knecht, MD, MBA, VP of clinical strategy and policy for Aetna. They may cause diarrhea, allergic reactions and various other side effects. Its something to keep in mind if youre tempted to take unnecessary antibiotics just in case.
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What Are The Benefits Of Antiviral Drugs
Antiviral treatment works best when started soon after flu illness begins. When treatment is started within two days of becoming sick with flu symptoms, antiviral drugs can lessen fever and flu symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by about one day. They also may reduce the risk of complications such as ear infections in children, respiratory complications requiring antibiotics, and hospitalization in adults. For people at higher risk of serious flu complications, early treatment with an antiviral drug can mean having milder illness instead of more severe illness that might require a hospital stay. For adults hospitalized with flu illness, some studies have reported that early antiviral treatment can reduce their risk of death.