Which Treatment Should I Use For Nasal Congestion
If you need immediate relief for swollen, congested nasal passages, you may get relief with an over-the-counter decongestant nasal spray. It is important to stop using decongestant nasal sprays after three days to avoid the development of rebound congestion.
Some doctors suggest using a saline spray instead of a medicated spray. Saline sprays loosen thick mucus in the nasal passageways but have no rebound effect. They may be used for extended periods of time without significant side effects.
When Are You Contagious
If you are infected with the flu, you are most likely to pass it to someone else from 1 day before symptoms start and up to 7 days after symptoms develop. Children may be infectious for longer than 7 days after symptoms start.
Symptoms usually develop 1 to 4 days after you are infected. Because symptoms may not develop for a couple of days, you may pass the flu to someone before you know you have it.
How Can I Treat Flu Symptoms
There are several things you can do to ease the pain and discomfort. Always consult your pharmacist or GP if you are unsure whether you are safe to take certain over-the-counter medicines. You can take:
- paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your fever or for muscle aches
- a cough syrup if you have a cough
- a decongestant if you have a blocked nose. Limit the use to a week at a time because prolonged use can worsen the stuffiness
- get lots of rest
- drink plenty of fluids
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What Is The Flu
Influenza is a respiratory infection. It is caused by the influenza virus. Influenza typically is spread by air or by direct contact from one person to another. Influenza virus is very contagious.
Most influenza cases occur during epidemics. Epidemics usually peak during the winter months. A particularly widespread and severe epidemic is called a pandemic.
Compared with other viruses, influenza can strike remarkably large numbers of people in a relatively short time. In the developed nations, up to 10-15% of the people get the flu each year. During severe epidemics, a greater fraction of the population gets sick.
The most common types of influenza virus are A and B. Influenza A is the one usually responsible for the annual epidemics. Most people get multiple flu infections during their lives. With many other types of infections, having the disease once protects against a second infection. That is because the body’s immune system remembers the returning virus. It attacks it immediately, and rapidly eliminates it.
With influenza, the virus usually has mutated somewhat since the first infection. The change is enough to fool your immune system. As a result, the immune system responds slowly. By the time the immune response is in full gear, millions of the body’s cells are already infected.
How Do Doctors Treat Viral Gastroenteritis
Your doctor may prescribe medicine to control severe vomiting. Doctors dont prescribe antibiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. Antibiotics dont work for viral infections.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend probiotics. Probiotics are live microbes, most often bacteria, that are like the ones you normally have in your digestive tract. Studies suggest that some probiotics may help shorten a case of diarrhea. Researchers are still studying the use of probiotics to treat viral gastroenteritis. For safety reasons, talk with your doctor before using probiotics or any other complementary or alternative medicines or practices.
Anyone with signs or symptoms of dehydration should see a doctor right away. Doctors may need to treat people with severe dehydration in a hospital.
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What Are The Long
The majority of animals that contract cat flu will recover without any long-term impact on their health. The most common problem following a bout of illness is that your cat could become a carrier of the virus: theres usually no way to tell, or to protect against it, but it does mean that they will be potentially infectious to other animals.
It could be that your cat will have minor recurrences of the illness during stressful times. Sometimes they can also be left suffering with chronic rhitis .
In the worst cases, some cats will suffer from prolonged gingivitis , which requires drug treatment and, occasionally, tooth extraction.
Another concern can be damage to the eyes caused by ulcers. This can lead to long-term impairment, and may even mean the removal of an eye. Look out for sore, drooping, or partially closed eyes: if you spot these signs, get them straight to a vet.
In most cases cats will recover in a matter of weeks. To make sure your pet gets back to their healthy and happy self, seek early advice from a vet.
With the outbreak of Coronavirus many owners wonder how to best take care of their cat during this uncertain time. We’ve answered the most frequently asked questions about Coronavirus and pets here.
Flu Medicine For Children
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.
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When Are Antivirals Effective If I Need Them How Quickly Should I Take Them
This is one of the major difficulties with antivirals. The scientific evidence suggests that antivirals are only effective if they are taken early on in the illness and the earlier the better. After someone has been unwell with influenza for 48 hours antivirals are not thought to help much at all. If antivirals can be given within 12 hours of the illness starting the benefit seems to be greater than if they are not given for 24 hours, which in turn is better than 48 hours.
How Long Until I Should Be Feeling Better
Most flu symptoms should start to improve within a few days to a week but some symptoms, especially a dry, irritating cough, may stick around for a couple of weeks.
Its also not unusual for people recovering from flu to feel tired for several weeks, so make sure you continue to take it easy in the weeks following a bout of flu.
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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 .
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.
Who Shouldnt Get The Flu Vaccine
You shouldnt get the influenza shot if you are
- Severely allergic to a previous dose of any influenza vaccine, regardless of the vaccine component suspected of being responsible for the reaction.
- Sick with a fever.
There is an option to get the nasal flu vaccine . The following groups of people shouldn’t get the nasal flu vaccine:
- Children and adolescents who are taking aspirin or any type of salicylate-containing medication therapies.
- Children who are 2-4 years of age who have been diagnosed with asthma or whose parents/caregivers can say that a healthcare provider has told them during the past 12 months that the child has had wheezing events or asthma or a child who has a wheezing episode documented in their medical record.
- Children or adults whose immune systems are compromised for any reason, including drugs or HIV infection.
- Caregivers or close contacts of severely immunosuppressed people who need a protected environment.
- Pregnant people.
- People who have received antiviral drugs to treat the flu within the past 48 hours.
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Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
How Is The Flu Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and examine you. This usually gives the doctor enough information to find out if you have the flu, especially if many cases of a similar illness have occurred in the area and the local health department reports a flu outbreak.
In some cases, the doctor may do a blood test or take a sample of fluid from your nose or throat to find out what type of flu virus you have.
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What To Do If Youre Not Getting Better
If you are not feeling better or are getting worse, you should see your doctor. Also see your doctor if you develop new symptoms, are not getting any relief from self-care and cold and flu medicines or are not feeling like eating and drinking.
Your doctor may recommend antivirals if you have a severe case of flu. If you have severe symptoms see your doctor straight away so that you can get the most benefit from the antiviral medicines.
How The Flu Is Treated
Jason DelCollo, DO, is board-certified in family medicine and on the faculty of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Most healthy people will only need home remedies or over-the-counter medications to treat flu symptoms, which generally last between three and seven days . Still, it’s worth speaking with your healthcare provider to see if a prescription for an antiviral medication may be advised to help prevent complicationsespecially if you are in a high-risk group.
Knowing what to do when you have the flu cannot only get you on the road to feeling better sooner, but it can help protect those around you from also becoming infected with the influenza virus.
Those at high-risk for flu complications include:
- Adults age 65 and over
- Children under age 5
- Children with neurological conditions
- Pregnant women
- Those with asthma, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, chronic lung disease, liver disorders, kidney disorders, HIV/AIDS, or blood disorders.
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Related Conditions Of Cold And Flu
The CDCs website presents weekly updates on flu activity nationwide. The site details how the flu may be spreading in each state and which strains of the virus are most prominent. It also contains useful guidelines for the most current treatments and vaccinations.
Founded in 1973, the NFID is a nonprofit dedicated to educating the public and healthcare providers about infectious diseases. Its influenza web page provides basic information about the flu and links to sections about influenza in vulnerable segments of the population, such as children and older adults.
Thanks to this search function on the CDC’s website, you can locate your state health department, which can then help you find direct access to your countys health department. Your local health department will likely provide updated information on flu activity in your area, as well as information on how to access vaccinations.
The WHOs global influenza website provides worldwide surveillance information on flu outbreaks and what prevention efforts are taking place. It also provides information from its conferences regarding future strategies to combat the flu.
Can Influenza A Be Prevented
Influenza spreads very easily from one person to another. If you have influenza, you should stay at home while you’re sick, cover your face when you sneeze or cough, and regularly wash your hands.
If you are around someone with influenza, you can help avoid getting sick yourself by regularly wiping surfaces they touch, using a cleaning cloth with detergent, and washing your hands.
Getting vaccinated each year before winter arrives is the best way to protect against influenza A. A new vaccine is needed every year because influenza viruses change constantly.
Flu vaccine is available for everyone aged over 6 months. The vaccine is particularly recommended if you are at risk of complications of influenza, or if you live or work with people at high risk of getting the flu.
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Can The Flu Be Prevented
You can help prevent the flu by getting the flu vaccine every year. It’s best to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 6 months old and older should get a flu vaccine. The vaccine is especially important for people who are at higher risk of problems from the flu, including:
- Young children.
- Adults ages 50 and older.
- Adults and children who have long-term health problems or an impaired immune system.
- Women who will be pregnant during the flu season.
The flu vaccine is also important for health care workers and anyone who lives or works with a person who is at higher risk of problems from the flu.
The vaccine usually prevents most cases of the flu. But even if you do get the flu after you’ve had the vaccine, your symptoms will be milder and you’ll have less chance of problems from the flu. You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine.
How To Avoid Spreading The Flu
Flu is very infectious and easily spread to other people. You’re more likely to give it to other people in the first 5 to 6 days of getting flu.
Flu is spread by germs from coughs and sneezes. They 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
- try to avoid all unnecessary contact with others
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands as this helps spreads the flu virus
- clean surfaces and items inside the house regularly
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Influenza A Vs Influenza B
Types A and B influenza are the more common forms of this infection, routinely causing seasonal outbreaks. Type C influenza usually only causes mild respiratory infections.
Type B influenza can be just as severe as type A influenza but is less common throughout the flu season compared to type A.
Humans are the natural host for type B infection. Type B viruses mutate much slower than type A infections and are categorized by strains, but not subtypes. The B virus strains take longer for their genetic makeup to change than influenza A. This drastically reduces the risk of a widespread pandemic due to type B influenza.
Type A influenza can be dangerous and is known to cause outbreaks and increase your risk of disease. Unlike a type B infection, type A viruses are categorized by subtypes and strains. Influenza A mutates faster than influenza B, but both viruses are always changing, creating new strains from one flu season to the next. Past flu vaccinations will not prevent infection from a new strain.
Wild birds are the natural hosts for a type A virus, also called avian flu and bird flu. This infection can also spread to other animals and humans. This, combined with the ability of type A influenza to mutate faster than type B, can cause pandemics.
Rinse With Salt Water
A warm water and salt rinse can soothe a sore throat. It can also help to clear mucous. Heres how to rinse with salt water:
Do not swallow the salt water. Do not allow children to gargle until they can safely gargle with plain water.
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Flu Symptoms Treatment Vaccination
Influenza is a viral infection of the respiratory tract that spreads easily and quickly from person to person. Symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle aches, and tiredness. Treatment for flu is mainly to lessen symptoms and provide comfort. Vaccination is the best means of prevention. People with immature or weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from flu, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, but it can rarely seriously affect any individual.
In New Zealand, approximately one in four people are infected with flu each year. Most cases occur during the winter . Although many of these people will not develop symptoms, they can still pass the flu on to other people, which is why vaccination is important.
How Can I Treat Viral Gastroenteritis
In most cases, people with viral gastroenteritis get better on their own without medical treatment. You can treat viral gastroenteritis by replacing lost fluids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration. In some cases, over-the-counter medicines may help relieve your symptoms.
Research shows that following a restricted diet does not help treat viral gastroenteritis. When you have viral gastroenteritis, you may vomit after you eat or lose your appetite for a short time. When your appetite returns, you can most often go back to eating your normal diet, even if you still have diarrhea. Find tips on what to eat when you have viral gastroenteritis.
If your child has symptoms of viral gastroenteritis, such as vomiting or diarrhea, dont hesitate to call a doctor for advice.
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