Can the flu be treated?

Yes. There are prescription medications called “antiviral drugs” that can be used to treat influenza.

What are antiviral drugs?

These are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu in your body. They are not sold over the counter. You can only get them if you have a prescription from your healthcare provider. Antiviral drugs are different from antibiotics, which fight against bacterial infections. These drugs lessen and shorten the duration of symptoms by about a day if started within two days of the onset of symptoms.

What should I do if I think I have the flu?

Check with your doctor promptly if you have a high-risk condition and you get flu symptoms, which can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Once your doctor confirms you have the flu (with a rapid flu test) and if you are within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, he or she may prescribe antiviral drugs to treat your illness.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease

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