Flu Pandemic

Flu Remedies

Influenza is a viral disease that affects both mammals and birds. Fever, cough, chills etc. are its common symptoms. It can also lead to pneumonia in serious cases. The disease is also highly contagious in nature and hence, epidemics of flu are common. The disease can spread through the air. For example, a person coughing can spread the virus into the air and the same can be inhaled by another. Flu pandemics are also not an infrequent occurrence. Influenza is also a seasonal illness and many of its cases are usually encountered at a particular time annually.

Flu Medication

Due to the varying levels of severeness of the disease, the flu remedies that are available, also vary accordingly. In general, flu remedies can be divided into different categories as follows:

Home Remedies for Flu

These flu remedies should be tried with caution and only, if the symptoms are not severe in nature and have not persisted for a long periods of time. In such cases, it is better to consult the doctor. Some of the home remedies are as follows:

As can be seen, the home remedies for flu only provide relief from some of the flu symptoms, and do not actually cure the disease. Also, if you wish to take them as supplementary medicine, along with the one your doctor has prescribed, you should first consult your doctor about the same.
You should also remember that the recent influenza virus H5N1 that causes bird flu, also leads to the cytokine storms within the body. Many of the flu remedies described above, may trigger cytokine storms. Hence, if you are in doubt regarding the type of virus that has infected the patient, you should first confirm the same from the doctor, before trying out these remedies.

Flu Medication

Usually, two types of medications are available for flu. One of them can be bought directly from the drug stores and like the home remedies, provides relief from some of the flu symptoms. The other type of medication is the one prescribed by the doctor. These are the ones that usually cure a person from the disease.
Over the counter medicine can be divided in the following types:

  • Analgesic provide relief from fever, body ache, problems of the sinus etc.
  • Decongestants these help in clearing your nose from any congestion and in maintaining sinus pressure.
  • Antihistamines they provide help against runny nose, watery eyes and also help in maintaining sinus pressure.
  • Cough Suppressants help in reducing cough.
  • Local Anesthetics reduce the pain that may be caused due to sore throat.
  • Prescribed flu remedies are usually in the form of antivirals. They usually have a direct effect on the virus, that has caused the disease. Two types of antivirals are available for flu viz. M2 inhibitors and Neuraminidase inhibitors. The former are effective against the Influenza A virus only and the latter can work against both influenza A and B viruses. The different antivirals include amantadine, rimantadine, zanavimir, oseltavimir, Arbidol etc.
    Recently, there has been a rise in the number of bird flu cases, many of the researchers believe, that the flu medicines today would work against the H5N1 virus in humans. However, research is being carried out to come up with an effective vaccine for the disease.
    As in the case of many diseases of a viral origin, being up-to-date regarding medication is an difficult task. The main reason for the same is, that the virus may undergo a mutation at any time, thus developing a resistance against the medicine. Hence, research needs to be carried out constantly to find newer flu remedies.