· If you get the flu, antiviral drugs are a treatment option.
· It is very important that antiviral drugs are used early to treat hospitalized patients, people with severe flu illness, and people who are at high risk for flu complications because of their age, severity of illness, or underlying medical conditions.
· If you have severe illness or are at high risk of serious flu complications, you may be treated with flu antiviral drugs if you get the flu.
· If you have a high-risk condition, treatment with an antiviral drug can mean the difference between having milder illness instead of very serious illness that could result in a hospital stay.
· Other people also may be treated with antiviral drugs by their doctor this season. Most otherwise-healthy people who get the flu, however, do not need to be treated with antiviral drugs.
· Studies show that flu antiviral drugs work best for treatment when they are started within 2 days of getting sick. However, starting antivirals later can still be helpful for some people.
· If your health care provider thinks you have the flu, your health care provider may prescribe antiviral drugs. A test for flu is not necessary.
· Antibiotics are not effective against the flu. Using antibiotics inappropriately can lead to antibiotic resistance and may expose patients to unwanted side effects of the drug.
· Other practices that may help decrease the spread of influenza include respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette, social distancing (e.g., staying home from work and school when ill, staying away from people who are sick) and hand washing.