Seasonal Influenza is also known as the flu virus. Although it does not generally cause serious health effects in most of the population, it can result in death for higher risk groups such as children and the elderly. Higher risk individuals also include those suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes and cancer.
The flu virus is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The best way to prevent the virus is to get a vaccination each year.
Flu symptoms in adults
The flu usually starts off with symptoms that can be mistaken for a mild cold and flu. However the conditions usually worsen to include fever, muscle aches, nausea and a loss of appetite.
Once you start to experience cold and flu symptoms, it is important to ensure that you are getting lots of rest and are taking the appropriate over the counter medications. This can prevent the virus from becoming more serious.
Although most people usually recover from the flu within a week, higher risk individuals can remain ill for much longer.
Effective flu treatments
The flu treatment that you should take will largely depend on your symptoms. In most cases, flu symptoms can be treated with the medications that can be obtained at your local pharmacy.
If you are experiencing nasal or sinus congestion, than an oral or nasal spray decongestant can be helpful in clearing the symptoms. Antihistamines can also be used if you are experiencing a runny nose or watery eyes.
Another common symptom that can be easily treated is a sore throat. Medicated lozenges and gargles have been shown to be effective ways to reduce sore throats.
Although there are many products available at your local drug store, you should never underestimate the natural healing power of rest, vitamins, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Flu treatments for children
Antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza are safe for children. However, it is important to keep in mind that you should avoid giving children under the age of four any over the counter drugs. This includes Aspirin and Tylenol. If your child has fallen ill to the flu virus, your best course of action is to bring them to a physician who can properly prescribe safe drugs to alleviate their symptoms.