Influenza (Seasonal Flu)
In most healthy people, influenza (flu) will go away in 5 to 7 days. The worst symptoms usually last 3 to 4 days. Home treatment to ease symptoms and prevent complications is usually all that is needed.
Antiviral medicines may help:
- Reduce the severity and duration of symptoms caused by infection with influenza A or B virus.
- Shorten the length of the illness.
- Control outbreaks of the flu in nursing homes.
- Reduce the spread of the virus to people at high risk for severe Reference complications of the flu (Reference high-risk groups).
- Reduce complications from the flu.
People at high risk of complications are encouraged to contact a doctor within 48 hours of their first symptoms to find out whether they need medicine to shorten the illness. They also should call a doctor to receive medicine if they have been exposed to the flu.
If medicines are not used, contact your doctor if symptoms of a complication develop.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 9, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology