Saturday, January 8, 2011

How to Treat Influenza

Influenza is one of the most common contagious diseases. Known more commonly as the flu, influenza is a viral infection that's spread through tiny germs. Influenza can affect people in a host of different ways, including sneezing, coughing and physical exhaustion. In addition to the steps you can take to prevent exposing yourself to influenza germs, there are several ways to treat the disease once you've been stricken.


  1. 1
    Get plenty of nourishing rest. Call in sick and spend as much of the day in bed as possible. By sleeping and resting, you'll allow your body's natural immune system plenty of opportunities to fight influenza on its own.
  2. 2
    Drink lots of fluids. Stay away from alcoholic beverages, as alcohol can inhibit your body's ability to recover. Drink plenty of clear fluids, and look for drinks that are rich in vitamins and other nutrients.
  3. 3
    Ask your doctor to prescribe an antibiotic to treat any bacterial complications that frequently occur when suffering from influenza. Your doctor will prescribe a regiment of pills to be taken over a specified period of time. Even if your symptoms ease, you'll need to continue the antibiotic schedule to completion.
  4. 4
    Report to your doctor as soon as possible, and see about getting a prescription for drugs like Amantadine or Rimantadine. These medications have been approved to treat certain kinds of influenza. You can also take these drugs as a preventative step to guard against the risk of influenza exposure.

Tips & Warnings

  • The best way to prevent the risk of contracting influenza is by getting a vaccination shot. Flu shots are available without charge for high-risk individuals. Vaccinations are covered by Medicare.
  • Children and the elderly are especially susceptible to influenza. Though healthy adults are likely to recover from the flu with relative ease, young kids and seniors citizens may have more difficulties overcoming the illness, putting them at risk for other illnesses.
  • People who suffer from diabetes, asthma or heart diseases need to be more attentive to the risk of influenza exposure. The flu can aggravate these other medical conditions, making it more difficult to recover.
  • Some forms of influenza drugs can have undesirable side effects, such as depression, upset stomach or difficulty sleeping. These side effects are relatively mild and often subside quickly.

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