is a contagious respiratory disease which is most prevalent during the fall and winter of this year.
disease can become a significant burden over the years, causing not only lost days of work and school, but also inpatient.
For example, in the 2016-2017 flu season, estimates that there are over 30 million cases of flu in the United States. This led to more than 14 million physician visits and 600,000 hospitalizations.
So what can you do to fight the flu once you have it? Your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic to treat it?
Antibiotics are not an effective way to treat the flu. Read on to find out why.
is a medication used to treat bacterial infections.
In the late 1800s, researchers began to notice that some of the chemicals that are effective in treating the infection. Then, in 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered that a fungus called Penicillium notatum had contaminated one of his cultures plated bacteria. Mushrooms leave a bacteria-free zone in the area where he grew up.
This discovery will eventually lead to the development of penicillin, the first naturally occurring antibiotics produced.
Today, there are many types of antibiotics. They have different ways of fighting bacteria, including:
Antibiotics treat bacterial infections, but they are not effective against viruses
flu is a viral disease caused by the influenza virus. ,
These are spread primarily through respiratory droplets released into the air when people who are infected cough or sneeze. If you inhale these droplets, you may be infected.
The virus can also spread if you come into contact with contaminated objects or surfaces, such as doorknobs and faucet handles. If you touch a contaminated surface and then touching your face, mouth, or nose, you may be infected
disease caused by influenza virus can range from mild to severe and include symptoms such as :.
Since the flu is a viral disease, antibiotics will not help to treat it.
In the past, you may have been prescribed antibiotics when you have the flu. However, this may be because doctors suspect that you have developed a secondary bacterial infection.
is when bacteria adapt and become resistant to antibiotics. In some cases, the bacteria can even become resistant to many antibiotics. This makes for some very difficult infection to treat.
Resistance can occur when the bacteria are repeatedly exposed to the same antibiotics. Bacteria begin to adapt and get stronger to resist the effects of antibiotics and survive. When developing an antibiotic resistant bacterial strains, they can begin to spread and cause infections difficult to treat.
This is why taking antibiotics unnecessarily for viral infections can do more harm than good. The doctor tries to prescribe antibiotics only if you have a bacterial infection that requires treatment with the drug
One of the possible complications of flu are developing a secondary bacterial infection, including :.
while ear or sinus bacterial infections can be mild complications, pneumonia is more serious and may require hospitalization.
If you develop a secondary bacterial infection as a complication of the flu, the doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to treat it.
even though antibiotics are not effective against the flu, there are antiviral drugs that doctors can prescribe a period of time.
If the drug is started within two days of developing flu symptoms, they can help to make less severe symptoms or shorten the duration of your illness.
Antiviral drugs are available to treat the flu include:
There is also a new drug called baloxavir marboxil (). This antiviral drug is created by a Japanese pharmaceutical company, approved in October 2018, and is now available for people to treat 12 or older who have flu symptoms no more than 48 hours.
Some antiviral drugs, including oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir, works by preventing the virus from being completely released from the infected cell. This inhibition prevents the newly formed virus particles from going along the respiratory tract to infect healthy cells.
The new drug approved in the above, Xofluza, work by reducing the ability of the virus to replicate. But they are usually not required to get over the flu, and they do not kill the influenza virus.
Thisinstead of antiviral drugs such as those mentioned above, but is available every year and is the best way to prevent becoming ill with the flu.
Beyond taking antiviral drugs, the best way to recover from the flu is to let the infection run its course as smoothly as possible. The following points can help in your recovery:
Be sure to get plenty of sleep. This will help your body to fight infection.
Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, warm broth, and juice. This helps to prevent dehydration.
The drugs, such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), can help with fever, body aches, and pains that often happens when you have the flu.
Every winter, infection with influenza virus causes millions of cases of flu. Because the flu is a viral disease, antibiotics are not an effective way to treat it.
When it started in the first few days of sick, antiviral drugs can be effective. They can relieve symptoms and reduce the time of illness. Seasonal influenza vaccine is also an effective way to prevent becoming ill with the flu in the first place.
If you develop a secondary bacterial infection as a complication of the flu, your doctor can prescribe an appropriate antibiotic to treat it.
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