Antivirals1

A flu jab is the most effective way of avoiding catching flu, but despite vaccination there are still a small but significant number who may catch flu. For those people, and others who have not had a jab, there are other medicines called antivirals that can help.

Antivirals are agents that kill viruses or suppress their ability to replicate and hence, inhibit capability to multiply and reproduce.

These drugs, available only from your doctor may reduce symptoms and help you recover from the flu a day or two earlier. It is vital that they are started within 2 days of symptoms starting to be effective.

Those who are very sick with flu, have a temperature of 38C or above2 and are at high risk of serious complications based on age or health, should be treated with antiviral drugs as soon as possible. However others with mild illness and low risk of complications can also be treated early with antiviral drugs.

Antivirals are not always effective, but they are the only option when flu has struck and do help in some patients; however, the best way to avoid flu is to make sure you have your flu jab each year.

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