Complementary And Alternative Medicine
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health notes that no complementary health approach has been shown to be helpful for treating influenza, making it milder, or shortening its course.
For relief of symptoms, using a neti pot or other method of saline nasal irrigation may help with congestion. Be sure to use distilled, sterile, or previously-boiled water to make the saline solution.
Honey may help relieve nighttime cough in children. However, it should never be given to children under age 1 due to the risk of botulism.
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.
The Beginning: Symptom Onset
The timeline between exposure, infection and the first signs of flu symptoms is typically about two days, but can range from one to four days.
When you start to feel sick, it seems sudden. And if youre like many people, the first symptoms you notice may be fever or chills, which are followed quickly by headache, muscle aches, cough and/or extreme tiredness.
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Some Side Effects Can Be Serious If You Experience Any Of These Symptoms Or Those Mentioned In The Special Precautions Section Call Your Doctor Immediately:
- rash, hives, or blisters on the skin
- swelling of the face or tongue
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
Peramivir injection may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems after receiving this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
Causes Of The Stomach Flu
The stomach flu is usually caused by any number of different viruses that can attack your gastrointestinal system. Its not caused by the influenza virus, which gives you the seasonal flu.
Less often, bacteria can cause it, typically due to contaminated water or food that was prepared inadequately or in an unhygienic environment.
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What Not To Drink
Most likely, you wont be in the mood for these during a bout of stomach flu anyway, but avoid:
- caffeinated drinks like coffee, strong black tea, and chocolate, which can affect your sleep at a time when getting enough rest is crucial
- alcohol, which acts as a diuretic.
All of these things can also upset your stomach.
Keeping food down can be difficult with the stomach flu. Dont force yourself to eat if the mere thought of food makes you cringe. When you do finally feel you can get something down, its best to start slow and simple.
The BRAT diet bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast can be your go-to when it comes to an uneasy stomach. These four foods are easy to digest, contain carbohydrates to give you energy, and replenish nutrients:
- Bananas: Bananas are easy to digest, can replace the potassium you lose from vomiting and diarrhea, and strengthens stomach lining.
- Rice: White rice is easy for your body to process and provides energy from carbs. Brown rice has too much fiber and may produce excess gas.
- Applesauce: Applesauce provides an energy boost due to the carbs and sugars, and it contains pectin, which can help with diarrhea. Its also easy to digest.
- Toast: Avoid whole-wheat bread, as fiber can be difficult on the digestive system. White bread is processed and easier to digest.
Similarities Between The Symptoms Of The Flu And Covid
The flu and COVID-19 are different viruses. They’re very contagious and have similar symptoms. This can make it hard to tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19 when symptoms appear.
If you start to develop symptoms, follow the same precautions taken for COVID-19.
This year is more important than ever for everyone 6 months and older to get the flu shot. This will help prevent the flu and flu-related complications. Preventing the flu will also help reduce stress on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Which Flu Treatment Is Best For My Sore Throat
Drinking lots of fluids and using salt water gargles can often be helpful for easing the pain of a sore throat. Over-the-counter pain relievers and medicated lozenges and gargles can also temporarily soothe a sore throat. Get your doctor’s approval before using any medications, including over-the-counter drugs, and don’t use lozenges or gargles for more than a few days. Call your doctor if your throat is still sore after a couple of days or if it is severe.The medications could mask signs of strep throat, a bacterial infection that should be treated with antibiotics.
Plan To Stay Home For A Bit Especially If You Have A Fever
You should not go to work or school if you have the flu. If youre sick, you should stay home. You need to rest, and it can stop you from spreading germs around town.
Its particularly important to stay home if you have a fever, and for at least 24 hours after your fever goes away . Why? Because youre most contagious when you have a fever and the day after it breaks.
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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:
When Should Antiviral Drugs Be Taken For Treatment
Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within two days of getting sick. However, starting them later can still be beneficial, especially if the sick person is at higher risk of serious flu complications or is in the hospital with more severe illness. Follow instructions for taking these drugs.
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What Is Antibiotic Resistance
Antibiotic resistance refers to the ability of some germs to survive the drugs we take to kill them. This can happen as a result of overuse, described above, or misuse, as when a patient with strep throat misses doses of their antibiotics or stops taking their pills once they feel better. Instead of being killed, the strep bacteria are, in the words of one scientist, educated in how to fight the drug. Then, if those germs are passed to someone else, the same antibiotic will be less effective.
Superbugs are germs that are resistant to many antibiotics. The best-known superbug is MRSA , a drug-resistant form of staph. Other superbugs cause hard-to-treat forms of pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea and UTIs. Every year, 2 million Americans fall ill with antibiotic-resistant infections.
Superbugs take more time and money to treat. Today, a simple sore throat or UTI might inconvenience you for a week, until your inexpensive generic antibiotics kick in. In the future, that week could turn into a month and multiple rounds of pricey specialized antibiotics.
Thats not all. Antibiotics are the unsung hero that support many medical breakthroughs, Dr. Knecht says. Theres a whole slew of technologies we wouldnt be able to use if antibiotics stopped working: surgery, dialysis, chemotherapy, gene therapy, bone marrow transplants. All of these treatments would be too dangerous without effective ways to head off and treat infection.
When To Seek Medical Care
These are the emergency warning signs of flu sickness.
- fast breathing or trouble breathing
- bluish lips or face
- ribs pulling in with each breath
- chest pain
- severe muscle pain
- not alert or interacting when awake
- in children less than 12 weeks old, any fever
- fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
- worsening of chronic medical conditions
These are not all of the possible emergency warning signs of flu. Contact your doctor about any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
If you have the emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should obtain medical care right away.
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- persistent dizziness, confusion, inability to arouse
- fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
- worsening of chronic medical conditions
If you have symptoms of flu and are in a high-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your doctor.
High-risk groups include:
- adults 65 years and older
- anyone with these conditions:
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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.
Try To Prevent The Flu From Spreading To Other Household Members
If you have the flu, chances are you dont want anyone else to feel as miserable as you do right now. But since you need to stay home, your family or household members are at a higher risk for getting sick. So, take steps to protect them as best you can:
- Keep your distance
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as countertops, door knobs or remote controls
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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.
Seasonal Flu: Symptoms And Treatment
The seasonal flu can cause severe illness or complications. Certain groups of people have a higher risk of developing serious health conditions from the flu.
Flu is most common during the fall and winter months. Peak levels generally occur between late December and early March. There are many different strains of flu, and they tend to change each year.
You can avoid the seasonal flu by getting vaccinated every year.
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Who Should Get An Annual Flu Shot
The Centers for Disease Control recommends the following groups receive an annual flu vaccine shot between November and February :
- All people aged six months and older.
It is especially important for certain individuals at high risk of flu complications and those who come in contact with people at high risk of complications to receive the flu vaccine. These people at high risk include:
- Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
- People who have chronic medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, kidney and liver disorders and chronic lung diseases.
- People with a weakened immune system, for example, people with cancer, HIV/AIDS, or chronic steroid users.
- Household members and caregivers of patients at risk of complications from the flu.
- Women who are or will be pregnant during the flu season .
- Healthcare workers who come into close contact with patients in hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare facilities.
- Infants and children ages six months through 18 years who are taking long-term aspirin therapy. This puts these individuals at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after flu infection.
- American Indians/Alaska natives.
- People who have close contact with children under five years of age for example, people who live with children, nannies and providers of daycare services.
- People who are morbidly obese .
Home Remedies And Lifestyle
If you develop flu symptoms, it’s best for you to stay home and away from other people unless they are providing you medical care until you have not had a fever for more than 24 hours .
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 be around other people, wear a face mask to protect others.
If you have severe symptoms or if you think you might be in a high-risk group, 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 whether you need to start prescription treatment.
What to do at home:
- You need to rest when you have influenza.
- You should avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, which can make your symptoms worse.
- Water and clear liquids are recommended to help prevent dehydration. You should avoid alcoholic beverages when you have the flu.
- For sore throat, a warm saltwater gargle or lozenges may help provide relief.
Do I Need To Go To The Emergency Room If I Am Only A Little Sick
No. The emergency room should be used for people who are very sick. You should not go to the emergency room if you are only mildly ill.
If you have emergency warning signs of flu sickness, you should go to the emergency room. If you get sick with flu symptoms and are at higher risk of flu complications or you are concerned about your illness, call your health care provider for advice.
People experiencing any of these warning signs should obtain medical care right away.
- Fast breathing or trouble breathing
- Bluish lips or face
- Ribs pulling in with each breath
- Chest pain
- Severe muscle pain
- Not alert or interacting when awake
- In children less than 12 weeks, any fever
- Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
- Worsening of chronic medical conditions
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Persistent dizziness, confusion, inability to arouse
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|
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How To Prevent Flu
The flu vaccine reduces the risk of catching flu and spreading it to others.
It’s best to get the vaccine in early October- the start of the flu season.
You should get the flu vaccine every year to lower your risk of getting the flu virus. This is because the type of types of flu viruses that are circulating every year are different.
Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:
- you’re worried about your baby’s or child’s symptoms
- you’re 65 or over
- you’re pregnant
- you have a long-term medical condition for example, diabetes or a heart, lung, kidney or neurological disease
- you have a weakened immune system for example, because of chemotherapy or HIV
- your symptoms do not improve after 7 days
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Go to 111.nhs.uk or call 111.
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