Monday, November 27, 2023

What Does The Doctor Give For The Flu

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A Public Health And Communications Failure

Health Hub: Does the flu shot give you any protection against the coronavirus?

Symptom-based treatment options like fluvoxamine and budesonide arent sure things. The research that exists is promising, but its limited. The effect sizes that studies have found are moderate.

But they are safe, they have been FDA-approved for other use cases for decades, and theres strong published evidence supporting them as options. Despite that, many patients have likely never heard of them and some doctors have felt unsure if its acceptable to prescribe them.

I literally gave fluvox for the 1st time recently. . Despite 2 RCTs, I almost felt dirty doing it, though I think was right call. The nurses were like wtf is fluvoxamine?!

Jeremy Faust MD MS

The National Institutes of Health publish guidelines on Covid-19 treatments that are meant to help physicians and patients sort through confusing, mixed, sometimes misleading evidence. The NIH guidelines on fluvoxamine and on budesonide both state that there is too little information to recommend in favor of or against their use. But some doctors and researchers feel that position is too conservative.

With nirmatrelvir and molnupiravir not yet available, and the most widely used MAbs lacking activity against Omicron , is it time to bump up fluvoxamine at least to “consider use” status on the treatment guidelines? Two well-done RCTs show benefit.

Paul Sax


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Other Remedies For Symptom Relief

Staying hydrated can help thin mucus to ease congestion.

Drinking hot liquids such as tea and broth may help relieve your symptoms. Breathing in moist air may also help relieve the discomfort that comes with nasal congestion. Try breathing in steam from the shower, a bowl of hot water, or a mug of tea.

If your voice is hoarse, rest it by avoiding yelling, whispering, and singing.

Placing a warm compress over the inflamed area can help reduce pressure and provide relief.

damages the natural protective elements of your nose, mouth, throat, and respiratory system.

If you smoke, consider quitting. Ask a doctor if you need help or are interested in quitting. Quitting may help prevent future episodes of both acute and chronic sinusitis.

Wash your hands frequently, especially during cold and flu seasons, to keep your sinuses from becoming irritated or infected by viruses or bacteria on your hands.

Using a humidifier during the cooler, dryer months may also help prevent sinus infections.

Talk with a doctor to see if allergies are causing your sinusitis. If youre allergic to something that causes persistent sinus symptoms, you will likely need to treat your allergies to relieve your sinus infection.

You may need to seek an allergy specialist to determine the cause of the allergy. The specialist may suggest:

Keeping your allergies under control can help prevent repeated episodes of sinusitis.

Pain Or Pressure In Your Sinuses

Facial pain is a common symptom of sinusitis. You have several different sinuses above and below your eyes, as well as behind your nose. Any of these air-filled cavities can hurt when you have a sinus infection.

Inflammation and swelling can cause your sinuses to ache with dull pressure. This is because inflammation may alter the typical path of mucus from the nose to the back of the throat.

You may feel pain in:

  • your forehead
  • on either side of your nose
  • in your upper jaws and teeth
  • between your eyes

This may lead to a headache. Headaches caused by sinus infections can occur where the sinuses are or in other places.

Recommended Reading: Can You Get A Flu Shot While Sick

Herbs And Dietary Supplements

Many claims have been made, but there isn’t enough research demonstrating any benefit of many herbs, including garlic and ginseng. Garlic is known to help prevent the blood from clotting, so if you’re on “blood thinners,” it could present a problem.

Garlic’s active ingredient, allicin, can be found in a wide range of supplements. However, recent studies have shown the actual amount you get may vary greatly, and often, you get very little of it. Garlic does have some natural anti-viral properties, but has no proven effectiveness in the prevention or treatment of the flu. If you feel that garlic is important for your health, itâs safe, the fresh variety may be the best choice.There are few well-designed studies on how these herbs and supplements treat and prevent influenza. One trial of ginseng suggested that it may enhance the effect of the flu vaccine, but more research is needed.

There are some studies to suggest that Echinacea may enhance your immune system, but evidence is mixed on its ability to treat or prevent the flu. Be sure to consult your medical doctor before you start taking this supplement, because some people may be allergic to it.Drinking ginger tea several times a day may bring relief for flu sufferers. Herbs including elderflower, myrrh, willow bark, rose hips, honeysuckle flowers, and boneset have also been suggested for relief from the many symptoms that accompany the flu.

Flu Shot Side Effects : What’s Normal And What’s Cause For Concern

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All vaccines have the potential to cause side effects, and that includes your yearly flu shot. But most are totally normal.

The coronavirus is still a very real concern this fall, but so is the influenza virus, aka the flu. The good news is we have very safe and effective tools for fighting and preventing both potentially deadly viruses, thanks to the COVID-19 vaccines and the flu vaccine.

According to the CDC, flu shots are safe and one of the best ways to keep from getting and spreading the flu to others. And people who get vaccinated and get sick anyway often experience less severe symptoms. If you’re thinking of getting vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu, the CDC says it is safe to get both vaccines together .

The simple fact is, flu vaccines can save lives. There are plenty of myths out there about the flu vaccine, such as the idea that it can give you the flu. While that’s not true, you can experience some side effects from the flu shot. The side effects are usually mild and nothing to worry about, but it’s important to know about them so you’re not worried when you get your vaccine.

Below, Dr. Carmen Teague, specialty medical director at Atrium Health‘s Mecklenburg Medical Group shares what you need to know about common flu shot side effects that are normal, and which side effects may be a sign of something more serious.

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First Flu Vaccine With Immune

More often than not, though, patients cant tell me why they dont want a flu shots, they just dont. I sense that theyve made, even if subconsciously, a risk-benefit calculation for a perceived low risk they get, in return, absolute control over their health care, if only in the small domain of the flu shot. Theyll take their chances on getting the flu because they think it will be like a cold, only a bit worse. Theyll sip ginger ale, binge watch House of Cards and wait it out.

I first formulated this theory not in my clinic, but, rather, in the hospital cafeteria.

A few years ago, an older woman who worked the midday shift was unflappable as diners most of them patients and their families barked their instructions: Not that piece of fish, the other one! Too much mustard!

One day, as she was making my sandwich, I asked her how she kept her cool. The way I figure it, she told me, around here people dont feel they can control much. Can I blame them for wanting to control lunch?

Ive been channeling that wise woman these fall days. Patients may not be able to do much about lousy insurance, pricey medications, or ever-shorter visits with ever-more-distracted doctors not to mention the human bodys unfortunate tendency to age, sicken, and die. But they can say no to flu shots. I dont agree with them but can I blame them?

I Think I Have The Flu Should I See A Doctor

Most people who are generally healthy wont need to see their doctor for the flu. Their immune system will fight the infection and symptoms will usually clear up on their own.

If you think you have the flu, try to rest, maintain a good fluid intake, and manage your symptoms. This will help you recover and prevent dehydration.

If you do need to see a GP for your symptoms, make sure you call ahead first so they can make sure theres no one in an at-risk group around when you have your appointment.

Read Also: Flu And Pneumonia Vaccine Same Day

What Causes The Flu

The flu is caused by a highly contagious virus that is spread when infected people talk, sneeze, or cough. The virus can spread from an infected person to a healthy person up to six feet away. People are infectious about one day before symptoms appear. This means you can pass the flu to others before you know you are sick. You can also catch the flu if you touch contaminated objects, such as a door handle, and then touch your mouth or nose. The most effective way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccine every year. You should also take care to wash your hands regularly and avoid sick people, if possible.

Do I Need To Go To The Emergency Room If I Am Only A Little Sick

No, the flu shot will not give you the flu or allow you to pass it on to someone else

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.

In children

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Ribs pulling in with each breath
  • Chest pain
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Dehydration
  • Not alert or interacting when awake
  • Seizures
  • In children less than 12 weeks, any fever
  • Fever or cough that improve but then return or worsen
  • Worsening of chronic medical conditions

In adults

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Persistent dizziness, confusion, inability to arouse
  • Seizures

Also Check: Valid Reasons To Decline Flu Vaccine

Im A Doctor And This Is How To Tell When Your Positive Lateral Flow Result Could Be Wrong

  • Vanessa Chalmers, Digital Health Reporter
  • 8:10 ET, Dec 20 2021

SEEING those two red lines come up on a lateral flow test is nothing short of a tragedy.

However, if the positive line is very faint and appears after a certain amount of time, it could actually mean you are not infected, a doctor has said.

Posting a photo of a vaguely positive lateral flow to , London-based A& E doctor Nathan explained what it could mean.

He said: Essentially, if *any* line appears before the end of the interpretation window , then this is a *positive* test and you must isolate and book a PCR.

However, if a line appears *after* the interpretation window then this does NOT count as a positive test. You do not need to isolate and you do not need to book a PCR.

But if you have symptoms, regardless of the lateral flow test result, you should isolate and book a PCR test, he said.

Nathan, who goes by @expedition_doctor on Instagram, said he recieved a positive PCR result following a very faint lateral flow test result.

So what would a faintly positive test result mean outside the 30-minute mark, if not Covid?

When Are Antiviral Drugs Recommended

Antiviral drugs are recommended for both treatment and prevention of flu. Antiviral drugs work best when taken within 48 hours of onset of flu symptoms, but they may still offer benefits when taken later. These medications may reduce the duration of flu by one to two days and prevent severe flu complications.

Also Check: What To Do If Arm Hurts After Flu Shot

How Are Antivirals Used In Preventing Flu

Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral if you come in close contact with family members or others who have the flu and you want to try to avoid getting sick. However, the CDC discourages this as a routine practice, as it can lead to drug-resistant strains of the virus. Instead, the CDC recommends that people at risk of severe flu — such as pregnant women or people with asthma, diabetes, or heart disease — begin antiviral treatment as soon as flu symptoms appear. Others at high risk for complications from the flu include infants, the elderly, those with chronic illness, Native Americans and Alaskan Natives

It’s important, however, to remember that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent flu.

Paracetamol For Pain And Fever

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Paracetamol can be used for adults and children over 1 month for pain and symptoms of fever. Make sure youve got the right strength for your childs age and weight as overdosing can be dangerous.

Read and follow the directions on the label carefully. If you are not sure check with your doctor or pharmacist.

Read Also: What Medication Should You Take For The Flu

What Causes The Flu In A Child

The flu is caused by flu viruses. Flu viruses are divided into 3 types:

  • Influenza types A and B. These 2 types of viruses cause widespread illness almost every winter. They often lead to more people needing to go to the hospital, and more people dying from the flu. Public health officials focus on stopping the spread of types A and B. One of the reasons the flu remains a problem is because the viruses change often. This means that people are exposed to new types of the viruses each year.

  • Influenza type C. This type of virus causes a very mild respiratory illness or no symptoms at all. It does not cause epidemics. It does not have the severe public health impact that influenza types A and B do.

A flu virus is often passed from child to child through sneezing or coughing. The virus can also live for a short time on surfaces. This includes doorknobs, toys, pens or pencils, keyboards, phones and tablets, and countertops. It can also be passed through shared eating utensils and drinking. Your child can get a flu virus by touching something that was touched by an infected with person, and then touching his or her mouth, nose, or eyes.

Why Won’t My Doctor Just Give Me Antibiotics To Treat A Cold Or The Flu

Dr. Andrew Pavia answers the question: ‘What About Antibiotics For A Cold/Flu?’

Question: Why Won’t My Doctor Just Give Me Antibiotics To Treat A Cold Or The Flu?

Answer: You don’t want to have anyone give you antibiotics for colds or flu, and you don’t want to take them. The reasons are pretty clear cut. Antibiotics only work against bacteria, and viruses are what cause colds and flu. In addition, they cause almost all cases of sinusitis, and bronchitis or chest colds are also due to viruses. So antibiotics won’t do any good. Some people have had the experience that the cold settles in their chest — somebody gave them antibiotics and they finally got better.

But in fact if you give people sugar pills or antibiotics for acute bronchitis, they get better at the same speed. So it makes no difference whether you take antibiotics or not.

So why not just try them? Well the reason is that like any powerful medicines antibiotics can actually cause harm. And in this case, it can cause harm two ways. You can have bad effects from the antibiotic itself, you can get diarrhea, you can develop rashes. One type of diarrhea called clostridium difficile can be life threatening. In fact, rashes are common enough, and side effects are common enough with antibiotics, that about one in a thousand people who takes an antibiotic will end up in an emergency room for a side effect.

Read Also: Is The Flu Shot Good To Get

What Should I Do If I Get Sick

Most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.

If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a higher-risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider .

Certain people are at increased risk of serious flu-related complications . For a full list of people at increased risk of flu-related complications, see People at Higher Risk of Developing FluRelated Complications. If you are in a higher-risk group and develop flu symptoms, its best for you to contact your doctor early in your illness. Remind them about your higher-risk status for flu. CDC recommends that people at higher risk for complications should get antiviral treatment as early as possible, because benefit is greatest if treatment is started within 2 days after illness onset.

Urgent Advice: Get Advice From 111 Now If:

Why Doctors Say Flu Shots Are so Important This Year
  • 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 or call 111.

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