The flu is a prevalent viral condition that is quickly spread through sneezing and coughing. The condition can be debilitating but it usually takes a week where the individual starts to feel better. In most circumstances, the symptoms of flu can be managed at home since many start to feel better within a week.
Those who face a higher risk for becoming seriously sick must consider setting an appointment with a doctor such as the following:
- Pregnant women
- Those who have kidney, heart, lung, liver or neurological disease
- Individuals 65 years or older
- Those who have diabetes
- Individuals who have weakened immune system
In such circumstances, the doctor might recommend the use of antiviral medications.
What are the signs and symptoms of flu?
If an individual is down with the flu, the following symptoms are evident.
- Elevated temperature or fever of 38 degrees C or higher
- Weakness and tiredness
- Dry cough
- Generalized aches and pain
In most cases, other symptoms similar to cold such as sore throat, sneezing or runny or blocked nose can also be triggered by the illness, but these are usually less severe than the symptoms stated earlier.
Always bear in mind that the flu can leave an individual sick and tired, thus he/she has to stay in bed and rest until the condition subsides.
How to manage the symptoms at home
It is recommended to rest by staying warm at home as well as drinking plenty of fluids in order to prevent dehydration. If the individual feels sick and have fever, you can provide him/her with paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce the temperature. In addition, stay off from school or work until the individual feels better.
Those who are included in the high-risk groups are usually given antiviral medications by doctors specifically oseltamivir or zanamivir to minimize the risk for complications.
The antivirals work by preventing the flu virus from multiplying in the body. Just remember that the drugs will not cure the condition, but can slightly minimize the time span and relieve some of the symptoms.
In studies conducted, there was proof that antiviral medications can minimize the risk of death among individuals who were hospitalized due to flu. Due to this, it is vital that doctors who are treating severely sick individuals to continue prescribing these drugs as long as appropriate.
The antibiotics are not given for the flu since they do not have any effect on the viruses. On the other hand, they might be prescribed if the individual develops one of the complications of flu such as a bacterial chest infection.