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Influenza – Treatment and Precautions

Influenza – Treatment and Precautions

Influenza pandemics can wreck havoc among humans, as seen during the 2004 bird flu and the 2009 swine flu outbreaks. Mainly the type A virus is responsible for the large scale outbreaks of flu. While yearly flu vaccinations can help build immunity against the common viral strains, it is the novel types of the flu virus that are difficult to deal with. This article gives you a list of precautions you can take during influenza pandemics.

Basic precautions

Most people often forget to take care of the basics of a healthy and hygienic living during massive flu outbreaks. Do not let the panic overwhelm you. Given below are some of the simplest remedies to prevent transmission of the H1N1 virus:

The flu virus can be spread through coughs and sneezes – 2 very common symptoms of the condition. So always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue paper while coughing or sneezing. Do not reuse the tissue; throw it away immediately. Also encourage others to do the same.

Wash your hands with water and soap, particularly after you touch your nose, mouth or eyes. Do the same after touching anyone else who is sneezing and coughing.

Wear a mask and gloves to avoid catching and/or spreading the virus, particularly when you visit public places.

Influenza is a highly contagious health condition. So avoid coming in touch with individuals who have the virus. Avoid using clothes, utensils or any other personal belongings of any person.

If you have the symptoms of flu, stay at home to prevent transmission of the virus. Take leave from school or work till you recover fully. Keep reporting to your doctor about your condition and take as much rest as possible.

Always follow instructions that are issued by appropriate authorities. Do not spread rumours.

Staying a step ahead

Planning may not always help, but it certainly never harms anybody. To combat the flu virus successfully, you need to be a step ahead of your time. In times of pandemics, most people run short of resources. So store some essential household items such as tissue papers and hand washes. Also store plenty of water, soup and juice. Keep a thermometer handy, along with acetaminophen. In times of a pandemic, try to talk with someone who has already had the virus. It will help you get firsthand information on preventive as well as remedial measures of flu.

Care and management

Talk to your doctor as soon as you experience the flu-like symptoms such as high fever, cough, sore throat, headache and muscle aches, runny nose and severe fatigue. The key to getting relief from flu is early diagnosis. You can take Tamiflu oseltamivir within 48 hours from the onset of symptoms. Manufactured by Roche, Tamiflu is a tested pill for prevention and treatment of influenza. Its active ingredient oseltamivir stops the flu virus from multiplying inside the body and affecting the healthy cells in the process. If used as prescribed by your doctor, you can also develop immunity against the common flu strains.