Can Colds And The Flu Be Cured With Medications
No medicines can “cure” colds and flu. However, there are many over-the-counter medicines that can ease the discomfort caused by the symptoms of colds and flu. In addition, there are prescription medicines and a vaccine that can treat and prevent the flu.
Note on antibiotics: Colds and the flu are causes by viruses and cannot be cured with antibiotics. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, such as strep throat and ear, skin and urinary tract infections. Using antibiotics for infections they are not able to treat makes the antibiotics less effective for infections they are supposed to treat . Never take antibiotics to treat colds and flu.
To ease the discomfort from specific cold and flu symptoms, consider using the following types of OTC medicines:
What Are The Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine
Soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site, as well as headache, fever, nausea, muscle aches and fatigue can occur with the shot. The nasal spray vaccine in kids can cause runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, low-grade fever and sore throat. Side effects of the nasal spray for adults may include runny nose, headache and cough.
Rarely, life-threatening allergic reactions can occur. Symptoms, which usually arise within a few hours after vaccination, may include breathing problems, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, rapid heartbeat or dizziness.
Tips To Protect You And Your Loved Ones During The Flu And Cold Season
Get the flu vaccine every year.
Wash your hands after caring for others or animals, before eating or preparing food, before touching your face, after coughing or sneezing, after using the bathroom.
Wash thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Cover your cough: cough or sneeze into a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
Sanitize things that are touched often, such as door or refrigerator handles, computer keyboards/mouse, phones and water faucets.
Avoid unnecessary holding, kissing or sharing food, dishes and glasses with anyone who has a cold or the flu.
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What Are Factors That Influence How Well Flu Vaccines Work
How well flu vaccines work can vary from season to season. Protection can vary depending on who is being vaccinated. At least two factors play an important role in determining the likelihood that vaccination will protect a person from flu illness: 1) characteristics of the person being vaccinated , and 2) how well the vaccines match the flu viruses spreading in the community. When flu vaccines are not well matched to one or more circulating influenza viruses, it is possible that vaccination may provide little or no protection from illness caused by those viruses, but still provide protection against other flu viruses that circulate during the season. When there is a good match between flu vaccines and circulating viruses, vaccination provides substantial benefits by preventing flu illness and complications. .
Each flu season, researchers try to determine how well flu vaccines work as a public health intervention. Estimates of how well a flu vaccine works can vary based on study design, outcome measured, population studied and type of flu vaccine. Differences between studies must be considered when results are compared.
What If I Have An Egg Allergy
Routine vaccine should not be given where there is a confirmed severe allergic reaction to egg products, as the vaccines are prepared in hens’ eggs. It has now been advised that, except for those with severe anaphylaxis to egg , children with an egg allergy can be safely vaccinated with Fluenz TetraÂ®. An egg-free vaccine is also available and can be given.
Inactivated influenza vaccines that are egg-free are available and it has been shown that they may be used safely in individuals with egg allergy. Since 2016 the ovalbumin content of live attenuated influenza vaccine has been reduced to â¤0.12 micrograms/ml. The ovalbumin content of influenza vaccines will be published prior to the influenza season.
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Do Children Adults Pregnant Women And The Elderly Need A Different Vaccine
Generally, children, adults and pregnant women get the same vaccine to protect them against the flu. However, if your child is under 9 years old and has not been vaccinated before, they will need to get 2 doses of the vaccine, at least 4 weeks apart, in their first year.
In 2018, 2 new flu vaccines became available for people aged 65 years and over. These vaccines are not available for people younger than 65.
How To Avoid Catching Colds & Flu
Getting a flu shot may reduce your risk of catching the flu, but it doesn’t protect you from colds. Still, there are things you can do that may lower your risk of catching colds, and provide additional protection from the flu. Here are some cold and flu prevention tips:
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Who Should Have The Flu Shot
The Australian Government recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months has a flu vaccination every year.
Its difficult to predict who will catch influenza , or who will become seriously ill from it. The flu can require hospitalisation and can even be fatal.
Getting vaccinated against the flu helps protect both you and the people around you. Its particularly important to protect vulnerable people in the community who cant be vaccinated, such as babies who are younger than 6 months and adults with low immunity.
Factors In Flu Shot Effectiveness
Influenza viruses are constantly changing and evolving rapidly. Circulating influenza viruses can mutate from one season to the next.
Researchers need to select the specific influenza viruses to include in the vaccine many months before flu season begins. This means whats in the vaccine may not always match whats actually circulating during flu season. This can decrease the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine.
Age can also play a role in vaccine efficacy because your immune system tends to become weaker as you age. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a high-dose flu vaccine for people 65 and older.
The higher dose is aimed at providing a better immune response and therefore better protection within this age group. for those over 65 with the high-dose vaccine.
The CDC also recommends that some children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years receive two doses of the influenza vaccine during the first season in which theyre vaccinated in order to have sufficient protection.
Its still possible to get the flu after being vaccinated, but research has shown that the illness may be less severe and that people who receive a flu shot may be less likely to be admitted to the hospital if they get the flu.
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All About Flu Vaccines
According to the CDC, getting an annual flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older.
Check out Live Science’s comprehensive flu shot page to learn about the types of vaccines, side effects and more.
Even more flu shot facts:
Can A Flu Shot Make You Get Sick
It isnt out of the ordinary to react to the flu shot, as its simply a sign that your immune system getting to work protecting you. Common responses include a sore arm, headache, nausea, muscle aches or a mild fever. The vaccine itself is adapted every year, Dr. Ford says. So its very hard to predict, from one year to the next, if youre going to have a mild reaction, no reaction or a more problematic reaction.
However, if you do get sick after getting a flu shot, its not because of the vaccine. The only direct reactions to the shot are going to happen within the first 24 to 48 hours, Dr. Ford affirms. As mentioned before, if you get sick after that, people might think its related to getting the flu shot. But its just a coincidence.
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Pregnant Women And The Flu Jab
Pregnant women are at increased risk of developing a more severe illness. They are also more likely than non-pregnant women to be admitted to hospital. Having flu when you are pregnant may also be associated with serious pregnancy problems, prematurity and lower birth weight for the baby. Your GP should offer you a flu vaccination during your pregnancy, if it runs over the winter. If they don’t, do ask for one.
There are no known problems from giving the seasonal flu jab to women who are pregnant.
Are Flu Vaccines Effective Against All Types Of Flu And Cold Viruses
Seasonal flu vaccines are designed to protect against infection and illness caused by the four flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming flu season. Flu vaccines do not protect against infection and illness caused by other viruses that also can cause flu-like symptoms. There are many other viruses besides flu viruses that can result in flu-like illness* that spread during the flu season. These non-flu viruses include rhinovirus and respiratory syncytial virus , which is the most common cause of severe respiratory illness in young children, and a major cause of severe respiratory illness in adults 65 years and older.
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Who Should Be Immunised Against The Seasonal Flu Virus
Seasonal flu is the particular type of flu virus that arrives in the UK each autumn. The actual type varies from year to year. The new jab is developed each year to protect against the expected type. The flu jab takes up to 14 days to give full protection after having the jab.
The Department of Health issues advice as to who should be immunised. This is reviewed from time to time. The aim is to protect people who are more likely to develop complications from flu.
Because of concerns that a combination of flu and COVID-19 might increase the risk of serious complications from either infection, the NHS flu vaccination programme has been expanded in 2020-2021.
For the 2020-21 flu season, you are eligible for NHS flu vaccination if you:
In addition to the main at-risk groups of people listed above you are eligible for an NHS vaccine if you:
- Are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill with flu.
- Are in regular close contact with someone who has a weakened immune system.
- Are employed by a registered residential care/nursing home.
- Are employed by a voluntary managed hospice provider.
- Are employed through Direct Payments and/or Personal Health Budgets, such as Personal Assistants, to deliver home care to patients and service users
- Are pregnant. Even if you are otherwise healthy it is now recommended that all pregnant women receive the flu jab.
Why You May Still Get Sick After A Flu Shot
Michael Menna, DO, is a board-certified, active attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.
An annual flu shot offers you the best protection against the influenza virus and is recommended for most individuals 6 months and older. It is still possible for you to get sick after a flu shot, but this isn’t because of what’s in the shot. The flu vaccine is made from killed, or inactivated, viruses that can’t give you the flu.
This article explores the reasons why you may get sick after the flu shot. It will also explain how the vaccine may help reduce symptoms and complications if you do end up getting the flu.
Verywell / Joshua Seong
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Are There Natural Flu Remedies
If left untreated, a typical case of the flu often goes away in about 1 week. During that time, you have several treatment options for making symptoms easier to handle.
Prescription antiviral medicines can reduce the severity of the infection. They can also shorten its duration. Some OTC treatments can ease the symptoms as well.
Some natural flu remedies may be helpful for easing symptoms. For instance, for a sore throat or cough, some options include:
Of course, rest is also an important part of recovering from the flu, or any other type of virus.
Your body is fighting hard to get well. Its wise for you to stop, rest, and get more sleep so your immune system can fight back against the virus.
How Well Do Our Flu Vaccines Work
Because the flu virus changes so rapidly, and most flu vaccines are grown slowly and somewhat imprecisely in chicken eggs, the strains we get vaccinated against are sometimes not what our bodies end up encountering, Dr. Palese said. And because of that, flu vaccines are not as effective as some other vaccines that protect against viral illnesses. During the 2019-2020 flu season, for instance, those who received the flu vaccine were only 39 percent less likely than people who didnt receive the vaccine to develop influenza. Two doses of the Moderna and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines, on the other hand, reduce symptomatic illness from Covid-19 by more than 90 percent, and two doses of the measles vaccine provide 97 percent protection.
That being said, Dr. Palese added, the best thing you can do to protect yourself from the flu is to get a vaccine. Thats the only thing that really makes a difference.
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Does It Matter Where And When I Get The Shot
Its fine to get a flu shot wherever they are offered, including at flu clinics, pharmacies, health departments or doctors offices, Dr. Palese said.
The C.D.C. usually recommends that everyone get vaccinated by the end of October at the latest. Given that population immunity against the flu is probably low, Dr. Gandhi said, its possible that the flu will peak earlier than usual . Also, it takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to develop full immunity, so if you havent yet gotten it, run out and get the flu vaccine immediately, she said.
Some kids specifically children between 6 months and 8 years old who have never received a flu vaccine, as well as those who have only ever received one dose should get two doses of the flu vaccine, at least four weeks apart, said Dr. Kelly Fradin, a pediatrician at Private Medical in New York City.
That said, even if its late in a flu season, it still is worthwhile to get a vaccine. The protection from the flu shot likely builds, even over years, said Dr. Fradin. If you get a vaccine after flu season has waned, it might anticipate the strains that will spread next season and provide some protection then, she said.
Side Effects Of The Flu Shot
Many people report avoiding the flu vaccine each year for fear that it will make them sick. Its important to understand that the flu vaccine cant cause you to develop the flu.
You arent going to become sick because you received the vaccine. Flu vaccines contain dead flu virus. These strains arent strong enough to cause an illness.
Like other shots, you may experience some side effects from the flu shot. These side effects are often mild and only last a short period of time. The side effects of a shot outweigh the possible symptoms of developing the flu later.
The most common side effects of the flu shot include:
- soreness around the injection site
- low-grade fever in the days immediately following the injection
- mild aches and stiffness
Any side effects that do occur often last only a day or two. Many people wont experience any side effects at all.
On rare occasions, some people may have a serious allergic reaction to the vaccination. If youve had an allergic reaction to any vaccine or medication before, talk with your doctor.
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Why Do I Have To Get The Flu Shot Every Year
A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, a persons immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.
The Correct Strain Of Flu Isn’t In The Vaccine
The flu shot provides protection against three or four specific strains, or types, of influenza. These strains are selected by researchers who hope to protect as many people as possible. Because the flu virus mutates, or changes, new vaccines have to be made every flu season.
Despite their best educated guesses, researchers and public health officials may get it wrong. If that year’s illness-causing strains of influenza are not included in the vaccine, people who get the flu shot may still get the flu.
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