How to Catch and Treat the Flu Early On

How to Catch and Treat the Flu Early On

Flu symptoms generally come on rapidly and do not drag their feet in showing up. They can include:

  • A cough
  • A sore throat
  • Fever
  • Stuffy or a runny nose
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue, chills
  • A headache
  • Some may have diarrhea and vomiting

The list does not include the symptoms of feeling miserable and how you have been run over by a Big Mac truck fully loaded. It also does not tell you that it makes you feel like you cannot raise your arms or legs and that you will probably die right where you are laying. The flu makes you feel the sickest of sick, and there will be no doubt you have the flu.

Some individuals can be infected with the flu, and even have respiratory symptoms, but no fever.

If you do get the flu, there are antiviral medicines that can be taken to treat your flu. Remember that antiviral drugs are not antibiotics. They have prescribed medications that come in the form of liquid, pills, or an inhaled powder, and you cannot buy them over-the-counter. The antiviral meds can make your illness trivial and even shorten the amount of time you feel sick. They can also inhibit severe flu complications.

For patients that have high-risk factors, therapy by an antiviral medication could mean the contrast between having a very serious illness versus a milder illness.

Studies are showing that the antiviral drugs are given for the flu work best to treat the flu if they can be started within two days of coming down with the flu. Starting them later could still be helpful, especially if the person is one who falls into the high-risk factor group or is already very sick from the flu. Make sure you follow the doctor’s instructions explicitly to take the antiviral.

If you fall into a high-risk group and start to develop flu symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately about your illness. Remind them about your status of being high risk for the flu. For patients who are high risk to develop complications; they should get started on the antiviral treatments as soon as possible, the benefit of the antiviral is best if the treatment can be started within two days after the illness beings.

The current antivirals available for prescription are:

  • Rapivab (peramivir)
  • Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate (generic)
  • Relenza (zanamivir)