6. Prescription drugs. The Center for Disease Control does recommend use of Relenza and Tamiflu. They are most effective if started within the first 24 hours of onset of symptoms. Their usefulness diminishes rapidly if there is longer delay in starting the medication. They may help alleviate some of the worst symptoms and may decrease the duration of illness by only one day. They are usually prescribed for only five days. This is only a limited option since many people don’t even consult their doctor till the window of opportunity has passed. There are some potential side effects with the medications. Antibiotics do not help fight the flu.
Prevention is the best option! Some simple measures may help you weather the storm if you are unfortunate enough to get the flu. If you do get sick, consult your health care provider if you have an earache, facial pain over the sinus area, colorful mucus, shortness of breath, temperature higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit, or simply on a worsening trend. These may be signs of a secondary bacterial infection or other complication. As always, hand washing, balanced diet, and adequate rest play an important role in both prevention and managing the illness.