Influenza is a viral infection disease that is highly contagious, even a handshake with an infected individual can easily pass on the disease on for example. Masks and vaccines do help to protect you from the disease but cannot do much if you catch the virus. The only thing that remains for the treatment of influenza is medications like Tamiflu. This medicine is used for both prevention and treatment of influenza.
What is Influenza?
Influenza is an infectious viral disease. It is transmitted through droplet infection and can spread up to an endemic or epidemic form. It is more commonly seen during winter but may strike at any time. It impinges on people of all ages. The main effects of the influenza viruses on the body are seen on the upper respiratory tract, the nose and throat, and sometimes in the lungs and bronchi.
If you catch the influenza virus, the most common symptoms you may notice are chill, fever (102F to 104F), headaches, sleeping problems, weakness and severe muscular pain. Inflammation in the nose and throat spreading down the windpipe to the lungs, resulting in a sore throat, cough, running of the nose and eyes are some of the severe symptoms of influenza. If left untreated, influenza may carry a bigger threat leading to severe health problems. Therefore, it is very important to seek treatment for influenza.
How to treat influenza?
Tamiflu is a World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended drug, also approved by most health authorities across the globe. Tamiflu was recommended during the bird flu and swine flu pandemic and was stocked by many nations creating a shortage of the drug. Tamiflu is found to be effective in treating influenza A and B and also for avian influenza and swine influenza.
Medicines available for the treatment of influenza
Tamiflu belongs to a class of drug known as neuraminidase inhibitor like zanamivir. Both these are effective in treating influenza virus A and B, but the latter is to be inhaled and hence proved to be difficult for people with respiratory problems and also people were not sure about its dosage, as one cannot measure if he or she inhaled the right quantity or not.
Adamantane derivatives like Amantadine and Rimantadine are other possible modes of treatments for influenza but they are only effective for influenza A and do not work for the more complex influenza B.
Flu shots or vaccines are available for the prevention of influenza but they are not always up-to-date and viruses mutate faster than vaccines can be developed. Thus, even if you have had your shots, there might be a new virus looming around and your body would not be ready for the attack from this new virus. Tamiflu is the best option left for people who have influenza or been exposed to people who have influenza.
Consult a doctor and find out if Tamiflu is right for you.
By Anthony Delar BCA, SEO (Last 2.5 year)
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