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Treatment

What To Do If You Get Sick 

  • Stay at home and rest.
  • Avoid close contact with well people in your house so you won’t make them sick.
  • Drink plenty of water and other clear liquids to prevent fluid loss (dehydration).
  • Treat fever and cough with medicines you can buy at the store.
  • If you get very sick or are pregnant or have a medical condition that puts you at higher risk of flu complications (like asthma), call your doctor. You might need antiviral medicine to treat flu. 
Although most healthy people recover from the flu without complications, some people, such as people 65 years or older, young children, pregnant women and people with chronic medical conditions, are at high risk for serious complications from the flu.

If you develop flu-like symptoms and are concerned about your illness, especially if are at high risk for complications, you should consult your health-care provider.  If a family doctor is unavailable, seek treatment from an urgent care center.

Health care providers will determine whether influenza testing and possible treatment are needed. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs that can treat the flu. These drugs work better for treatment the sooner they are started.


Antiviral Medications

If you get the flu, your doctor may recommend you take an antiviral (zanamivir or oseltamivir) medication to help relieve the symptoms. These are prescription medications (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder), and a doctor should be consulted before the drugs are used.

Antiviral drugs can make illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications. These medications must be started within 2 days of illness in order to be effective, so it is important that antiviral drugs be used early.

Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People may be infected with the flu, and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

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