Swine Flu (H1N1/09)

How is Swine Flu treated?

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2014-12-11 13:34:39
2014-12-11 13:34:39

There is no cure for flu viruses. The different methods of treatment of Swine Flu include:

Symptomatic Treatment:

In addition to the prevention with a vaccine, and treatment with anti-viral medications (see more below), the flu is treated symptomatically with

medications (usually over-the-counter medications), and other symptom-relieving measures. Antibiotics do nothing for the flu viruses, antibiotics are only for bacterial infections and do not work for viral infections like swine flu.

There are products to treat the specific signs and symptoms of the individual, such as anti-emetics for vomiting and medications to treat diarrhea, analgesics for the aches and pains, fever reducers, and other typical medications for cold and flu symptoms. The typical symptoms of H1N1/09 are similar to all viral influenza infections.

Swine flu symptoms often include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Muscle and joint pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Nausea and vomiting.Diarrhea.

Treatment is relative to the severity of the symptoms and the symptoms can vary from person to person. In most cases, treatment is the same as it is for the seasonal flu. STAY HOME, REST, DRINK MORE LIQUIDS, Motrin or similar for fever and aches, and perhaps over the counter flu or cold medicines for

comfort. Eating healthy foods is also important.

An antibiotic may be prescribed to treat secondary bacterial infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia, but this is usually not needed. Other treatments can include anti viral medications prescribed by your doctor. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required for respiratory support and IV medications, but these complications are not the norm.

Do not give aspirin for fever to children or teens. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Aspirin or aspirin-containing products should not be administered to any person aged 18 years old and younger with a confirmed or suspected case of influenza virus infection, due to the risk of Reye syndrome.

Avoid dehydration:

When the symptoms include fever with increased perspiration, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, one of the most important treatments would be replenishing lost fluids by drinking plenty of water, or if tolerated, sports drinks. If drinking fluids is not tolerated, contact a health care provider to see if anti-emetics (medicines for vomiting) are needed. You may need medicines for the fever or diarrhea. Sometimes other forms of replacement of fluids may be necessary. Dehydration is a serious complication of viral disease, especially in the elderly or very young.

Other simple measures to make you feel better:

Proper hydration as mentioned above, a good diet (with supplements such as Vitamin C if needed), and proper rest can help boost the immune system and are also important.

Showers and baths can be comforting for aching muscles and joints and for more humidity for inflamed mucous membrane tissue.

Use facial tissue with lotion in it to help relieve a sore red nose from the runny nose, or apply scent-free baby lotion or even petroleum jelly (Vaseline) to your sore nose.

Continue to follow all advice of the CDC and WHO for preventing the spread of this H1N1/09 flu and other flu viruses, such as frequent hand washing and good etiquette and control of spread of the flu using tissues for coughs and sneezes. Keep aware of the updates and announcements from those organizations and your local government health entities.

Antiviral Medications to lessen the severity of symptoms, stop virus reproduction, and to speed recovery:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) information says that the swine flu can be treated if caught very early with two of the anti-viral medications oseltamivir (Tamiflu/Fluvir) and zanamivir (Relenza).

Tamiflu is for treatment in adults and children aged 1 year and older, and should be taken within 48 hours of the first symptom for maximum effect, however, your health care professional can determine if it is appropriate to start this treatment even after that date, so contact them for advice if you have been exposed or have symptoms.

There are currently 4 types of antiviral drugs that are licensed for use in the US for the treatment of influenza: Amantadine, Rimantadine, Oseltamivir and Zanamivir. While most swine influenza viruses have been susceptible to these drugs, the most recent swine-flu viruses isolated from humans, are resistant to Amantadine and Rimantadine.

None of these drugs prevent us from getting the virus, but can lessen the severity of the symptoms and shorten their duration.

If prescribed within the first 40 hours of symptoms, Tamiflu can also be used to prevent the H1N1/09 virus, in some cases. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this prophylactic (preventive) use. It can also be used for prescription to other members of a household, when one person is known to have the influenza, to prevent the rest from getting it.

It is not a substitute for proper preventive hygiene techniques and other recommended ways to avoid getting the swine flu and should be used in combination with these measures when prescribed.

October 2009:

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved three flu shot vaccines and one nasal mist vaccine for use in the US. The vaccines are now being distributed within the states by the local state governments, and provided to those at highest risk of complications first (e.g., pregnant women and children over 6 months old or those caring for these infants who cannot take the vaccines, etc.).

Pregnant women and parents of young children should be proactive in finding where and when they can get their vaccinations. The risk of the flu, especially in these groups is much higher than any perceived risks of getting the vaccination.

Contact your healthcare provider to determine if you fall into any of the first groups who will be offered the vaccine. If you plan to get the vaccination as recommended, ask your PCP (Primary Care Provider) if the shot or the mist is most appropriate for your use. They should be able to tell you how and where to get the immunization. But local news sources should also be announcing that to the public when this process of distribution is begun in your area. (See also the related questions below about which type of vaccine is best for different groups of people.)

Other flu treatments in experimental trials:

One of the most encouraging developments for all future flu and viral infections, is the "cure" or treatment currently in animal trials, that, unlike current antiviral medications, approaches the attack on the virus in a new way that can not only disable the specific strain of virus, but also prevent it from future mutations (that can allow it to be resistant to the treatment after it makes those modifications).

Current antiviral medications affect the chemical "keys" on the viruses' coats to prevent them from attaching to the host cells. The current problem is that the virus can continue to mutate and adjust to chemically change its protein coating and render the anti-viral medication ineffective. The new approach attacks the virus at the stem, instead of at the protein coating. The stem is unable to mutate to a resistant version. The new drug is expected to work on the most deadly of current viral strains. *

The manufacturer of the new antiviral treatment has announced that they hope to have the human trials completed and the medication in production in not too long, if all goes well in the current animal trials.

Common Cold Vaccine Development--Not yet:

Unfortunately, at least the first product being developed, that is mentioned above, is not expected to be effective against the rhinovirus (one of the most prolific viruses that cause the common cold). While it is anticipated by the manufacturer to be effective against our most deadly types of viruses, it is not being targeted to treat the rhino-viruses. We may continue to suffer future sniffles, for a while longer... but this can also be a good thing. It is an advantage to keep our immune systems "tuned" through battle with the more minor viral strains anyway. We are steps closer than ever to the cure for the common cold, though.

Prevention is the best medicine! See additional information at the sites listed in the related links section below, and in the related questions, for techniques you can utilize to reduce the prospect of contracting the virus.

TAMIFLU UPDATE July 31, 2009

Tamiflu Side Effects in Children

According to research from the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training and from colleagues from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in London, which was published in Eurosurveillance (the peer-reviewed journal of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control), a small number of children are having neuropsychiatric side effects from Tamiflu such as nightmares, inability to concentrate, insomnia, and slight confusion.

The article at the NHS web site (link is provided to the full article in the related links section below), states:

'. . . more than half of children taking Tamiflu to combat swine flu suffer side effects such as nausea, insomnia and nightmares,' said The Daily Telegraph. It also said the study suggests that one in five children who took part reported having a neuropsychiatric side effect.

However, this has been proven to be a limited complication and only in that age group.

none yet I'm scared

supposedly if you get a weak strain of swine flu you will become immune to even the more powerful strains

PS: GET YOUR SHOT!!!!!

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If not treated, swine flu is fatal.

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