Friday, September 22, 2023

How Do Doctors Treat The Flu

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Preventing Flu At Work And School

What’s the best way to treat the flu?

At School

  • Find out about plans your childs school, childcare program, and/or college has if an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs and whether flu vaccinations are offered on-site.
  • Make sure your childs school, childcare program, and/or college routinely cleans frequently touched objects and surfaces, and that they have a good supply of tissues, soap, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rubs, and disposable wipes on-site.
  • Ask how sick students and staff are separated from others and who will care for them until they can go home, and about the absentee policy for sick students and staff.

Learn more about preventing the flu, common questions and answers, and poster materials for schools: Resources for Schools, Childcare Providers and Parents

Learn more about COVID-19 planning and guidance for promoting safe and healthy learning environments for schools and childcare programs.

At Work

  • Find out about your employers plans if an outbreak of flu or another illness occurs and whether flu vaccinations are offered on-site.
  • Routinely clean frequently touched objects and surfaces, including doorknobs, keyboards, and phones, to help remove germs.
  • Make sure your workplace has an adequate supply of tissues, soap, paper towels, alcohol-based hand rubs, and disposable wipes.
  • Train others on how to do your job so they can cover for you in case you or a family member gets sick and you have to stay home.
  • If you begin to feel sick while at work, go home as soon as possible.

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.

How To Prevent Catching The Flu

Flu cannot be prevented entirely however, the following 11 tips may help:

  • Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of flu
  • Wash hands for 20 seconds every few hours
  • Use a clean towel to dry your hands
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your nose and eyes, to prevent infection
  • Sneeze or cough into the upper shirt sleeve
  • Always wear a mask while stepping out, especially during COVID-19 times
  • Use a hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol when hand washing is not feasible
  • Avoid going outdoors unless necessary when you are sick with a flu-like illness
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with flu germs
  • Talk to your health care provider before trying any herbs or supplements
  • Read Also: Where Does The Flu Shot Get Injected

    Is An Antiviral Drug A Commonly Used Flu Treatment

    Antiviral flu drugs are taken to decrease the severity and duration of flu symptoms. In some cases they may be used to prevent flu. They includeà baloxavir marboxiloseltamivir , peramivir , or zanamivir .

    Ideally, the first dose should be taken within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. Talk to your doctor, if you are at increased risk for complications from the flu. People at high risk include infants, elderly, those with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, those with weak immune systems. Native American and Alaskan Natives. Most antivirals do have side effects.

    What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Antiviral Drugs

    Flu symptoms in toddlers: Signs, treatment, and when to ...

    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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    How Can I Help Prevent The Flu In My Child

    The best way to prevent flu is to have the yearly flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is given as a shot . A nasal spray is not recommended for the 2017-2018 flu season. The CDC says this is because the nasal spray did not seem to protect against the flu over the last several flu seasons.

    Each year, a new flu vaccine is available before the start of the flu season. Talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions about how vaccines work and how well they prevent flu. The first time a child between the ages of 6 months and 8 years gets a flu vaccine, he or she will need a second flu vaccine one month later.

    The vaccine is advised for all children 6 months and older. But for some children, its more critical for them to get a flu shot. The flu shot should be given to any child who has any of these:

    • A long-term heart or lung condition

    • An endocrine disorder such as diabetes

    • A kidney or liver disorder

    • Weak immune system from HIV/AIDS or long-term steroids

    • A blood disorder such as sickle cell disease

    A flu shot should also be given to:

    • A child who has a family member with a chronic health condition

    • A child or teen taking aspirin as long-term therapy

    • A child with parents or caregivers at high risk of complications from the flu

    Some side effects of the vaccine can be like mild flu symptoms, but the vaccine does not cause the flu. Possible side effects of the flu vaccine include:

    And you can help prevent your child spreading the flu to others if you:

    Which Flu Treatment Should I Take To Lower My Fever And Body Aches

    Children under 19 should avoid aspirin. Acetaminophen or medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen are over-the-counter options for fever and pain relief. Each medication has risks. Check with your doctor or pharmacist as to which medication may be suitable for you.

    Be careful not to overdose! These drugs are often mixed in with other multi-symptom cold and flu remedies you may also be taking. They may also be ingredients in other prescription medicines you may be taking. Your pharmacist can help you check for drug ingredients and interactions.

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    How To Avoid Spreading The Flu

    Flu is very infectious and easily spread to other people. You’re more likely to give it to others in the first 5 days.

    Flu is spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

    To reduce the risk of spreading flu:

    • wash your hands often with warm water and soap
    • use tissues to trap germs when you cough or sneeze
    • bin used tissues as quickly as possible

    What Are The Treatments For The Flu

    How to treat mild COVID or flu at home

    Most people with the flu recover on their own without medical care. People with mild cases of the flu should stay home and avoid contact with others, except to get medical care.

    But if you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider. You might need antiviral medicines to treat your flu. Antiviral medicines can make the illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They also can prevent serious flu complications. They usually work best when you start taking them within 2 days of getting sick.

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    Prevention Is The Best Medicine

    Keeping yourself healthy during flu season starts with prevention.

    The best way to avoid getting the flu is to get vaccinated, said Dr. Policht. The flu shot may not be 100 percent effective, but even if you do get sick after getting the vaccine, its likely that your illness wont be as severe.

    Getting your flu shot is easier than ever for Geisinger patients. Get a walk-in flu shot during business hours at:

    Geisinger Health Plan may refer collectively to Geisinger Health Plan, Geisinger Quality Options Inc., and Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, unless otherwise noted. Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and HMO D-SNP plans are offered by Geisinger Health Plan/Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, health plans with a Medicare contract. Continued enrollment in Geisinger Gold depends on annual contract renewal. Geisinger Health Plan Kids and Geisinger Health Plan Family are offered by Geisinger Health Plan in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services . Geisinger Health Plan is part of Geisinger, an integrated health care delivery and coverage organization.

    When Should You Call Your Doctor

    911 or other emergency services if:

    • You are having trouble breathing, or you feel very short of breath.
    • You have a severe headache or stiff neck and are confused or having trouble staying awake.
    • You have an extremely high fever.
    • Your fever lasts longer than 3 days.
    • Your child is 3 months of age or younger and has a fever of 100.4°F or higher.
    • Your cough lasts more than 7 to 10 days after other symptoms are gone.
    • You are coughing up yellow, green, rust-colored, or bloody mucus.
    • You are finding it harder and harder to breathe.
    • Wheezing develops.
    • New pain develops or pain narrows to one area, such as an ear, the throat, the chest, or the sinuses.
    • Symptoms don’t go away, even with home treatment.
    • Symptoms become more severe or frequent.

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    What Increases Your Risk

    Anyone exposed to an influenza virus can become infected. These viruses are contagious and spread easily among people in groups, such as in nursing homes, hospitals, shelters, schools, and day cares. Working, visiting, or living in any of these areas increases your risk of getting the flu.

    The risk of having severe symptoms and complications is higher for:

    • Children younger than 2 years of age.
    • Adults age 65 and older.
    • Pregnant women.
    • People who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , other lung diseases, or heart failure.
    • People who have a medical condition or who are using a medicine that impairs the immune system.

    When To See A Doctor

    Flu symptoms in toddlers: Signs, treatment, and when to ...

    People should try to see a doctor within 24 to 48 hours after flu symptoms appear, as this is when antiviral treatments are most effective.

    It is also important to see a doctor if symptoms do not improve after 7 days or new symptoms, such as ear pain, appear.

    People should seek emergency medical treatment if:

    • breathing becomes difficult or labored
    • muscle pain is unbearable or severe enough to prevent walking
    • a child develops a fever above 104°F
    • when breathing, a child or infant makes loud sounds or pulls in the muscles around their ribs
    • a person has seizures, loses consciousness, seems confused, or is unable to communicate effectively
    • a baby under the age of 12 weeks develops a fever
    • symptoms of chronic medical conditions get worse
    • there is intense dizziness that does not go away after a few hours
    • a person stops urinating or urinates very rarely
    • symptoms get better but then return later and are worse

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    What Causes The Flu

    The flu is caused by flu viruses that spread from person to person. When someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks, they spray tiny droplets. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person may get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

    Who Should Take Antiviral Drugs

    Its very important that flu antiviral drugs are started as soon as possible to treat patients who are hospitalized with flu, people who are very sick with flu but who do not need to be hospitalized, and people who are at higher risk of serious flu complications based on their age or health, if they develop flu symptoms. Although other people with mild illness who are not at higher risk of flu complications may also be treated early with antiviral drugs by their doctor, most people who are otherwise healthy and not at higher risk for flu complications do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.

    Following is a list of all the health and age factors that are known to increase a persons risk of getting serious complications from flu:
    • Asthma
    • Blood disorders
    • Chronic lung disease
    • Endocrine disorders
    • Heart disease
    • Kidney disorders
    • Metabolic disorders
    • People who are obese with a body mass index of 40 or higher
    • People younger than 19 years of age on long-term aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.
    • People with a weakened immune system due to disease or medications

    Other people at higher risk from flu:

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    Antibiotics: Too Much Of A Good Thing

    The fewer antibiotics we all take, the better for ourselves and the whole planet.

    Although antibiotics kill both good and bad bacteria, they can miss bacteria like Clostridium difficile . After taking antibiotics, you could get a C. diff infection, which causes diarrhea and can require emergency medical attention. Antibiotics can also cause abdominal pain and yeast infections like vaginosis or thrush.

    Overuse of antibiotics also contributes to the rise of super bugs, or antibiotic resistant bacteria. So, avoiding antibiotics when possible is one way to promote good health globally.

    Flu Medicine For Children

    Doctors using virtual care visits to treat flu patients from home so they aren’t infecting others

    Children can take some types of flu medicine, but other types may be unsafe. Children can take prescription flu medicines based on their age, as listed above for each of the four FDA-approved antiviral medications approved.

    The OTC flu medicines that children can use also depend on the childs age and the medication. Always follow the directions on the OTC medication package and talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist if youre unsure.

    Read Also: What Company Makes The Flu Vaccine

    What Should I Do If I Think I Am Sick With Flu

    If you get sick with flu, antiviral drugs are a treatment option. Check with your doctor promptly if you are at higher risk of serious flu complications and you develop flu symptoms. Flu signs and symptoms can include feeling feverish or having a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat your flu illness.

    How Is It Treated

    Most people can treat flu symptoms at home. Home treatment includes resting, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking medicine to lower your fever. But some people need to go to the hospital for treatment. They may have severe symptoms or get pneumonia. Or the flu infection may make an existing health problem worse.

    If you think you have the flu, your doctor may be able to give you medicine that can make the symptoms milder. It’s best to start taking it within 2 days of your first symptoms.

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    Flu Is It Time To See Your Doctor

    The flu is a respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus, which is a contagious disease that can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, or even death. Flu activity typically peaks in January and February. Although they share many of the same symptoms, the flu is not the same as a cold. Flu symptoms include:

    • Fever
    • Muscle aches
    • Stomach symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

    Flu symptoms typically occur rapidly and last three to seven days. You are contagious both before experiencing symptoms and after theyve subsided. If you or one of your family members is experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your nearest NextCare Urgent Care today for diagnosis and treatment.

    You can protect yourself and your family by getting a flu shot at the start of each flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that every person aged 6 months to 65 years get an annual flu vaccine and those persons with certain high risk medical conditions.

    When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider If You Have Influenza

    Flu: Symptoms, treatment, contagiousness, and do I have it?

    Because of the importance of taking flu medicines within 48 hours of coming down with symptoms, call immediately if you think you have the flu. If you continue to feel unwell after you have been treated for the flu, you should call your doctors office. If you find yourself feeling better, and then getting sick again, you should also contact your doctor. The flu might have left you with some kind of secondary illness, like a sinus infection.

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    Difference Between Flu And Covid

    The symptoms of COVID-19 and flu can be similar.

    If you are unwell with flu-like symptoms, contact the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 675 398 or your GP to check if you require COVID-19 testing.

    The symptoms to watch out for are:

    • loss or changein sense of smell or taste
    • fever

    Some people may also experience headache, muscle soreness, stuffy nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

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