Flu Prevention – Remedies for Taking Control of the Condition
Influenza has always been a cause of concern because it is easily transmitted airborne or through contact with tainted surfaces. Governments around the world are persistently working to prevent the spread of flu, ramping up vaccination efforts and constantly reminding the public about proper hygiene.
Flu Prevention – A General Overview
Health officials and medical professionals always recommend keeping good hygiene to reduce the risk of disease. Some basic flu prevention tips are to avoid spitting, touching the mouth, nose or eyes and washing hands frequently with soap and water or rubbing them with alcohol-based products. Healthy people should stay away from sick people, and flu patients should stay home to spare others from catching their illness. Sick people should cover up when sneezing or coughing. Smoking cessation is also good way to reduce the risk for influenza. In the event of an influenza outbreak, flu prevention measures should include closing down contaminated places and isolating infected individuals.
Flu Vaccinations – Important Information
The World Health Organization issues an annual statement predicting the strains of the influenza virus that could spread the following year so that drug makers can develop vaccines that will specifically target those strains. Flu vaccinations have varied effectiveness because of the high mutation rate of the virus. Because people can still get sick even after vaccination, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get flu shots every year. Flu vaccinations are of utmost importance to children, but are too potent for babies younger than six months. Aside from seasonal flu vaccines, an influenza pandemic vaccine is also under development.
Flu Medication – Options
People who experience flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, cough, body aches, chills and fever for at least two days should take antiviral drugs to reduce the risk of disease progression. Flu medication including Tamiflu, known in generic terms as oseltamivir, and Relenza, or zanamivir, are designed to inhibit the spread of influenza A and B strains to throughout the body. The M2 protein that plays a role in viral infection of healthy cells is inhibited by antivirals amantadine and rimantadine, available under the brand names Symmetrel and Flumadine, respectively. These two drugs, however, are recommended for use in certain situations of infection since they have lost potency against many flu strains.