Flu known as influenza is extremely contagious. It is an illness involving the upper respiratory causing missed days of work and school or even hospitalizations in younger kids.
What can you do to fight the flu once you have already contracted it from someone who already had it? Should you ask your doctor to prescribe antibiotics to treat it? The answer is no. Antibiotics are not effective to treat the flu as they are only used to treat bacterial infections. There are many types of antibiotics in the market and each antibiotic have different ways of fighting bacteria.
Flu on the other hand is not caused by bacteria. It is in fact a caused viral illness caused by the influenza virus which takes it course to run. When influenza infected person coughs or sneezes, the virus spreads through the respiratory droplets. So if these droplets reach the food, objects or surfaces such as doorknobs and faucet handles and you touch them and touch your face, mouth or nose, you will also get infected.
The illness caused by the influenza virus can range from mild to severe and includes symptoms such as:
- Runny and congested nose
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Tiredness and fatigue
You may think that in the past when you were young you may have been prescribed antibiotics when you had the flu. This may have been due to the fact your doctor suspected that you had developed a secondary bacterial infection.
If you were to develop a secondary bacterial infection as a result of the flu, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat it. Types of bacterial infection may include
- Ear infection
- Sinus infection
- Bacterial pneumonia
Ear or sinus infection can be mild but pneumonia is way more serious and may even require hospitalization.
Otherwise in general, a flu virus runs its course over an average period of 7 days.
Learning about antibiotic resistance
When bacteria adapt to become resistant to antibiotics, it’s called antibiotic resistance. In such a case, some infections may become extremely difficult to treat in which the bacteria is resistant to
Resistance occurs when the bacteria is constantly exposed to the same antibiotic. The bacteria begin to adapt and get stronger to resist the effects of the antibiotic and survive. When antibiotic resistant bacterial strains develop they spread and it becomes hard to treat infections since they are resistant. This is the reason why we should not eat antibiotics unnecessarily for a viral infection as it does more harm than good. Some antibiotics can also cause diarrhoea as they are meant to kill bacterial which includes the good ones and the bad ones. And when good bacteria in the gut are killed, it causes diarrhoea which is why some doctors prescribe probiotics along with antibiotics.