A highly contagious respiratory disease, swine flu is on the rise now. With a new case of the disease cropping up in Delhi and other states, it is highly recommended that people stay on guard by knowing its symptoms and getting treatment on a timely manner. So, following are some symptoms of swine flu and how they can be treated:
• Sore throat: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help to reduce the pain. In some people gargling with salt water can help to soothe sore throat.
• Chills, aches, and pain: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can reduce body pain. Cover the person with a blanket to treat chills.
• Congestion: A person with flu can experience congestion in the nose, sinuses, ears, and chest and it can be accompanied by pain. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help to reduce pain. Simple decongestants may help to reduce congestion. However, it is always advisable to contact your doctor before you start any treatment. Some over-the-counter treatments can be given to children as well but it is advisable to contact your paediatrician before you start any treatment. Do not give any over-the-counter cough or cold medicine to children younger than 4 years of age.
• Stomach problems: Flu can cause stomach pain, vomiting or even loose stools (diarrhea). Give the person plain foods that are easy on the stomach along with water and clear liquids to drink. Consult a doctor if the person has severe stomach pain, frequent loose stools or vomiting.
Consult your doctor if you develop influenza-like symptoms. Most people with swine flu recover with symptomatic treatment such as lots of rest, paracetamol or paracetamol-based cold remedies that treat fever and associated symptoms of cold.
Early and prompt use of antiviral medication is recommended if you are at a high risk of getting serious flu complications. If your doctor prescribes antiviral drugs for treatment, do not delay taking the medication. They are most beneficial when started within 2 days of sickness and have to be taken for 5 days.
Antivirals do not wholly cure swine flu, but aid to:
• Reduce the duration of symptoms or illness by around one day
• Reduce some of the symptoms
• Reduce the risk of serious complications such as pneumonia.
Your doctor may diagnose you with flu based on your signs and symptoms or may advise an influenza diagnostic test. At times your doctor may prescribe antivirals if he/she suspects flu, even if the test is negative.
Read more articles on Swine Flu.