Should I Avoid Antibiotics Altogether
Not at all. Antibiotics can save people’s lives, and if you need them, you should get them as quickly as you can. Since only a doctor can prescribe antibiotics, this means that you should talk to your doctor if you think you might need them .
However, it is the grave over-reliance and inappropriate use of antibiotics that have contributed to the global antibiotic resistance crisis that we face.
A study by the CDC showed that many adults believe that if they are sick enough to see a doctor for a cold, they should get an antibiotic treatment. The study also showed that patients are not aware of the consequences of taking the drugs if they are not needed. And when antibiotics are misused, bacteria can become resistant.
Controlling The Spread Of Infection
The influenza vaccine isn’t 100 percent effective, so it’s also important to take measures such as these to reduce the spread of infection:
- Wash your hands. Thorough and frequent hand-washing is an effective way to prevent many common infections. Or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water aren’t readily available.
- Contain your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. To avoid contaminating your hands, cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the inner crook of your elbow.
- Avoid crowds. Flu spreads easily wherever people congregate in child care centers, schools, office buildings, auditoriums and public transportation. By avoiding crowds during peak flu season, you reduce your chances of infection. And, if you’re sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever subsides so that you lessen your chance of infecting others.
New Prospects For Therapy Of Herpesvirus Infections
While several classes of compounds are being investigated for the treatment of herpesvirus infections. Some of the compounds that have been the focus of drug discovery in the last decade have been targets of viral encoded enzymes, including inhibitors of ribonucleotide reductase, TK, protease, and DNA polymerase.
Recently, a new compound class of helicaseprimase inhibitors, for example, BAY 57-1293, with preclinical pharmacological profile that outperforms the current standard HSV treatment represented by acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir in standard animal models with respect to all parameters of efficacy, has been discovered. This class of compounds bind to two viral targets simultaneously, namely the helicase and primase subunit of the helicaseprimase enzyme complex. The helicaseprimase complex is essential for the HSV DNA replication process. These compounds have no demonstrable activity against either VZV or CMV.
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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
When Should You Contact Your Healthcare Provider If You Have Influenza
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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Check If You Have Flu
Flu symptoms come on very quickly and can include:
- a sudden high temperature of 38C or above
- an aching body
- diarrhoea or tummy pain
- feeling sick and being sick
The symptoms are similar for children, but they can also get pain in their ear and appear less active.
Cold and flu symptoms are similar, but flu tends to be more severe.
|Appears quickly within a few hours||Appears gradually|
|Affects more than just your nose and throat||Affects mainly your nose and throat|
|Makes you feel exhausted and too unwell to carry on as normal||Makes you feel unwell, but you’re OK to carry on as normal|
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Make sure you get more liquids. It doesnât all have to be water — fruit juices, sports drinks, and broth-based soups also count. They keep your respiratory system hydrated and help turn that nasty, thick mucus into a thin liquid you can cough up and spit out. Thatâs good — if it builds up in your lungs it could lead to an infection.
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Viral Infections And Antibiotics
Antibiotics treat bacterial infections, but influzena is caused by a virus, so antibiotics arent effective treatment for the flu. In fact, antibiotics may do more harm than good if you have the flu, says Dr. Tyler Policht, a family medicine doctor at Geisinger. They wont help you feel better, and they can cause other health problems.
Thats because viruses infect your body in a different way. Viruses infect your cells and multiply inside of them. For the virus, your cells act as a sort of Trojan horse so they can reproduce. Because they hide in your cells, antibiotics cant affect viruses in the same way.
How Is The Flu Treated In A Child
Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. The goal of treatment is to help prevent or ease symptoms.
Treatment may include medicines such as:
Acetaminophen. This is to help lessen body aches and fever. Don’t give aspirin to a child with a fever.
Cough medicine. This may be prescribed by your childs healthcare provider.
Antiviral medicine. This may help to ease symptoms, and shorten the length of illness. This medicine does not cure the flu. The medicine must be started within 2 days after symptoms begin.
Antibiotics arent effective against viral infections, so they are not prescribed. Instead, treatment focuses on helping ease your childs symptoms until the illness passes.
Talk with your healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines.
Also make sure your child:
Gets lots of rest in bed
Drinks plenty of fluids
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What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu In A Child
The flu is a respiratory disease, but it can affect the whole body. A child can become suddenly ill with any or all of these symptoms:
Fever, which may be as high as 103°F to 105°F
Body aches, which may be severe
|Extreme tiredness that can last weeks|
|Sore throat||Sore throat in some cases|
A cold is usually mild and often goes away after a few days. The flu can cause severe symptoms and lead to problems such as pneumonia and even death. The symptoms of the flu can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Common Cold And Influenza
Many cold and flu symptoms are similar. Both the common cold and the flu are caused by viruses.
There are some differences with influenza. Symptoms of influenza often hit suddenly and cause you to become weaker and weaker. While the more uncomfortable symptoms of flu generally last from three to seven days, the dry cough and fatigue of influenza can last two to three weeks. Signs that influenza is getting worse include increasing degree of fever, and shortness of breath. If you think that your illness is getting worse, contact your doctor right away.
Symptoms of colds and flu
- Stay at home.
- Take acetaminophen to reduce fever and relieve muscle aches.
Note: Adults should not give aspirin to children or adolescents with fevers due to the association with Reye’s syndrome, a rare disorder that causes brain and liver damage.
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Antivirals For Treating The Flu
Even though antibiotics arent effective against the flu, there are antiviral medications that your doctor can prescribe within a certain time frame.
If these drugs are started within two days of developing flu symptoms, they can help to make your symptoms less severe or shorten the duration of your illness.
Antiviral drugs that are available to treat flu include:
Theres also a new medication called baloxavir marboxil . This antiviral drug was created by a Japanese pharmaceutical company, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2018, and is now available to treat people 12 years or older who have had flu symptoms for no more than 48 hours.
Some antiviral drugs, including oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir, work by preventing the virus from being properly released from an infected cell. This inhibition prevents newly formed virus particles from going along the respiratory tract to infect healthy cells.
The newly approved medication above, Xofluza, works by reducing the virus ability to replicate. But theyre arent usually necessary to get over the flu, and they dont kill the influenza virus.
Its not an antiviral medication like those noted above, but the seasonal flu vaccine is available every year and is the best way to prevent becoming ill with the flu.
Should I Still Get A Flu Vaccine
Yes. Antiviral drugs are not a substitute for getting a flu vaccine. While flu vaccine can vary in how well it works, a flu vaccine is best way to help prevent seasonal flu and its potentially serious complications. Everyone 6 months and older should receive a flu vaccine every year. Antiviral drugs are a second line of defense that can be used to treat flu if you get sick.
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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.
Can You Get Medicine For Influenza
If you are seriously ill, your doctor might order an antiviral drug for you. Antiviral drugs for influenza include oseltamivir phosphate zanamivir peramivir and baloxavir .
This drug is approved to treat influenza in patients who are two weeks of age and older, and it works best in people who have had the flu for fewer than two days. It is also approved to prevent flu in patients who are one year of age and older. There is a generic version of this product available, but it costs nearly as much as the brand name. Potential side effects include nausea, vomiting, nosebleeds, headaches and tiredness.
This drug is approved to treat flu in patients seven years old and older, and to prevent flu in patients who are five and older. This product is inhaled and not recommended for people who have respiratory illnesses like COPD or asthma. Common side effects include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, nose irritation and vomiting.
This drug is approved to treat flu in people 2 years old and older. This product is given into the vein by a healthcare provider. A common side effect from peramivir is diarrhea.
This drug, a pill, is approved to treat flu in people 12 years old and older who are otherwise healthy and in people who are at higher risk of developing influenza-related complications. Common side effects are diarrhea, bronchitis, nausea and headaches.
What complications are associated with influenza ?
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When To See A Doctor For The Flu
Most healthy people, including children, can recover from the flu without complications, Dr. Boyer says. But if your toddler has any underlying medical condition like asthma, lung diseases, or heart disease, then the flu can develop into something more serious.
And sometimes, even without underlying conditions, the flu can simply take a nasty turn. If your toddler starts to develop severe medical complications caused by the flu then you should seek a doctor’s appointment immediately,” Dr. Boyer says.
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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When You Need Antibiotics And When To Avoid Them
Viruses and bacteria are two types of germs that can cause infection and disease. Antibiotics kill bacteria, but have no effect on viruses. Some illnesses always require antibiotic treatment: strep throat, staph-based skin infections and common sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia.
Other conditions may be caused by either bacteria or viruses, and it can be hard to tell the difference. If you develop pneumonia, pink-eye or a urinary tract infection, for instance, your doctor may test for bacteria before recommending antibiotics.
Can Elderberry Treat The Flu
Some limited evidence suggests it might help reduce symptoms and duration, but it should never replace the flu vaccine or medical advice from your doctor.
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This story was originally published on March 3, 2020 on NYT Parenting.
Its touted as a miracle remedy for a variety of pesky winter bugs: colds, flu and yes, even recently, the coronavirus. Elderberry has garnered a cult following on social media in recent years, and has the sales numbers to show for it. According to a report published by the American Botanical Council in 2019, sales of elderberry supplements, which are made from the fruit of a flowering shrub, more than doubled in the United States between 2017 and 2018 to a total of nearly $51 million.
In my own community, many of my friends dose their kids with elderberry in pretty much every iteration, said Ashley Adams English, author of Home Apothecary with Ashley English, meaning they give their children elderberry in the form of homemade syrups, gummies and more.
Elderberry supplementation has long been used as a folk remedy for flu, but what does the science say? And is it safe? Heres what to know.
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Home Remedies And Lifestyle
If you develop flu symptoms while at work, school, a friend’s house, or in any public place, go home. Until you have not had a fever for more than 24 hours , stay there and away from anyone unless they are providing you medical care.
Unless you have signs of a medical emergency, you do not need to go to the emergency room when you have the flu. If you must go out, wear a face mask to protect others.
Contact your healthcare provider within the first 48 hours of developing flu symptoms. This will give you a chance to discuss your symptoms and determine if you are in a high-risk group and should start prescription treatment.
Resting is needed when you have influenza. You should also avoid smoking and secondhand smoke, as this may make your symptoms worse.
Water and clear liquids are recommended for those who have influenza. This will help prevent dehydration. You should, however, avoid alcoholic beverages when you have the flu.
For sore throat, a warm saltwater gargle or lozenges may help provide relief.
When Should You Go Back To Work Or School If You Have Had The Flu
You are contagious for one day before starting feeling ill, and for 5 to 7 days while you have the flu symptoms. At the very least, you should stay at home until you are able to go 24 hours without taking something for fever. If you have other severe symptoms, such as incessant cough or shortness of breath, you should stay at home.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/24/2019.
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Stay Home And Get Plenty Of Rest
Mind your flu manners. On the first day you have symptoms, call your work or school and tell them you wonât be coming in for a few days. You’re sick — and very contagious! Take advantage of down time and give your body some much-needed rest. Curl up on the couch and spend some time reading, watching DVDs, or just cat-napping while your body battles the virus.