You have probably suffered from flu at some points of your life. This viral infection is triggered by the influenza virus, leading to many symptoms which resemble a common cold, taking it to a new level, being more serious.
If you are curious about numerous facts regarding influenza and its treatment, read the lines below and find out all about this illness.
Influenza Virus Facts
As it was mentioned above, the influenza virus is the main culprit behind this condition. Basically, this viral disease manifests through a group of symptoms which can also be caused by some other illnesses and health problems. Either way, once you are suffering from flu, you are likely to experience fever, chills, aches and pains, Sore throat and coughing.
Moreover, flu can range in severity, being mild in most cases, but also being capable of triggering life-threatening conditions such as pneumonia or some other sorts of bacterial infections.
Since this viral disease is easily transferable from one infected person to the other, keeping it controlled and preventing epidemics is one of the main concerns of the FDA, which chooses proper and efficient drugs for these purposes. Vaccination is considered to be the best possible tool of prevention and maintaining this condition.
Use of Antiviral Medications to Treat Influenza
Mild cases of influenza usually come and go with or without the assistance of medications. However, more serious occurrences of this type require adequate therapy. People who suffer from some chronic diseases which compromise their immune systems may be at a greater health risk once being affected by influenza too. Also, some bacterial and viral infections may start appearing through symptoms resembling flu, only to escalate later and pose a threat to one's health and overall well-being. Therefore, reacting once affected by the symptoms is recommended.
Yet, people usually choose to suppress the symptoms of flu rather than to stay at home, drink a lot of fluids and rest. Antiviral drugs are made for treating this condition and may decrease the time of exposure to the virus significantly. Most of these drugs can be obtained over-the-counter.
The popularity of antiviral drugs has risen during the last couple of decades, due to the fact that we have witnessed many mutations of the flu virus, posing a greater threat to our health. Thus, in order to get properly protected from this virus, people take the medications as soon as they notice some of the symptoms mentioned above.
However, it is very important to bear in mind that antiviral drugs do not decrease the risk of suffering from certain complications related to this condition. In fact, some cases of people being treated with influenza medications resulted in the worsening of the symptoms since they were actually supposed to receive treatments for some other infections instead. Additionally, over-the-counter antiviral medications, when used improperly, can make a certain virus more resistant, making it even harder to deal with.
Finally, many of the antiviral drugs trigger adverse effects which might range from mild to serious. So, if you happen to experience some changes in the symptoms you are noticing during your flu treatment, contact your health provider and seek advice.
It is very important to keep influenza under control. Many new types of this virus appear due to various mutations the virus undergoes, becoming more and more resistant to treatments. This results in onsets of epidemics and possibly pandemics.
In cases of pandemics and epidemics, some drugs may prove to be effective, addressing the adequate strain of the virus, while some others may prove to be useless. For this reasons, governments are financing developments of new medications, piling up the existing ones, keeping them in store for future protection systems.
In recent times, we have witnessed several types of flu epidemics. The first was bird flu, carrying this name due to the fact that birds were the main carriers of the virus. Then, in the first months of 2009, a new mutation of the flu virus saw the light of day, being named the swine flu, due to the fact that it mainly triggered infections in swine, possibly affecting people through contact with these animals. The virus reached pandemic proportions by the middle of 2009 and the virus is still present among us. New drugs and vaccines are being developed, helping us keep the H1N1 virus under control, preventing it get out of control.
You are not advised to take antiviral drugs for more than 5 days, without being hospitalized. In general, you should not take antiviral drugs on your own, purchasing them over-the-counter without consulting a health expert first. Many drugs can help you deal with this illness. However, you should seek medical attention beforehand, resting assured that you are getting the best possible treatment after a proper diagnosis of your condition.
Thus, as soon as you notice symptoms of the common flu, pay your doctor a visit.