Treatment for the flu
There are antiviral medications that are used to treat the flu, but they should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor. Antibiotics will not work against influenza viruses and should not be taken.
Paracetamol or ibuprofen may be given to lessen flu symptoms such as fever and aches. However, always consult a doctor before giving any medication to children under 2 years. Aspirin should not be given to children or teenagers to treat flu symptoms.
It is very important to make sure that anyone sick with the flu is getting enough fluids to avoid dehydration. Water, clear juices or decaffeinated tea are all good options. Fizzy drinks and drinks with caffeine, such as coffee or power drinks, are not recommended.
What about the flu vaccine? Will it help prevent the flu?
Vaccination against the flu is not a common practice in India and it does not get the same emphasis or level of recommendation as in the US or European countries. The Indian Academy of Pediatrics has so far not recommended the flu vaccine for routine use.
Part of the reason why the vaccine does not get wider recommendation in India is that there have not been enough scientific studies on how effective the vaccine is within India.
However, parents who want to get flu vaccines for their children or themselves, and other individuals who want to get the vaccine may do so from medical shops. The cost is about Rs700 in February 2015. The vaccine should not be given to infants under 6 months of age and ought to be administered by a doctor or nurse.
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