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How is the H1N1 flu treated?

Healthy people who have the H1N1 virus typically have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs, as is true of seasonal flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For people with more severe illness, antiviral medications may make your symptoms milder and help you feel better faster. They should be used at the first signs of flu symptoms and are used to keep the virus from growing in your body. Two types of antivirals are available:
  • oseltamivir (Tamiflu), an oral medication
  • zanamivir (Relenza), an inhaled medication
In addition, peramivir is a new intravenous antiviral medication that the FDA has approved under an Emergency Use Authorization to treat certain patients with suspected or confirmed cases of H1N1 flu.
In addition, drink plenty of water and get lots of rest. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help reduce fever and aches from the flu. Children and adolescents should not take aspirin because of an increased risk for Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially deadly disease.
Most people who have H1N1 flu recover without special treatment or medical care. Children who are younger than 5, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with asthma, neurological conditions, chronic lung conditions, heart disease, and blood disorders have a higher risk of developing complications with any type of flu, and should talk with a doctor about treatment options. If you have H1N1 or any strain of flu, stay home and avoid contact with other people.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.