The CDC has additional information on NIVW here, and a whole lot more information on seasonal influenza (Flu) as well. Need to know more about types of influenza viruses? No problem, you can find that at the CDC site too. The most common form of influenza is Type A. For most healthy people the flu is self-limiting. Sure you feel like crap for a few days, but you get over it and truck on. With that said, influenza can be quite dangerous to elderly and those with compromised immune systems. Get vaccinated.
If you do happen to get the flu it’s probably too late to use an antiviral, but if you and your physician feel compelled to do so you can find more information on this handy-dandy Influenza Antiviral Medication Summary sheet from the CDC (PDF). And no, you can’t treat the flu with antibiotics like amoxicillin, SMX/TMP, cirprofloxacin, azithromycin, etc. So don’t use them if you have the flu. If you do you’re just contributing to a bigger problem.
The best treatment for the flu? TV remote, a comfortable couch and rest.
Next week is National Influenza Vaccination Week. As experts and educators in safe and effective medication use, pharmacists are uniquely qualified to lead efforts within health systems to encourage influenza immunization of health care workers. Encourage your co-workers to get vaccinated. Public health campaigns such as these are the first line of defense against a potentially deadly illness.
Recognizing that influenza infection in health care workers can lead to outbreaks with serious consequences for patients, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) launched an initiative for pharmacists to improve influenza immunization rates among health care workers. Health care workers can acquire influenza and unwittingly transmit the virus to patients, other health care workers, and members of their household and the community a day or two before symptoms appear.
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