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Type a flu duration: Clinical Signs and Symptoms of Influenza


Clinical Signs and Symptoms of Influenza

Signs and Symptoms

Uncomplicated influenza

Uncomplicated influenza illness is typically characterized by the abrupt onset of constitutional and upper respiratory tract signs and symptoms (e.g., fever, chills, myalgia, headache, malaise, nonproductive cough, sore throat, and rhinitis). However, many people who are sick with influenza virus infection do not manifest fever, especially those who are elderly or immunosuppressed. Atypical signs and symptoms of influenza virus infection can occur, including in frail, institutionalized elderly long-term care facility residents. Among young children with influenza, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea may also occur with respiratory symptoms. Uncomplicated influenza signs and symptoms typically resolve after 3-7 days for the majority of people, although cough and malaise can persist for >2 weeks, especially in elderly people and those with chronic lung disease.


Influenza virus infection of the respiratory tract can cause a wide range of complications that can result in severe disease. Certain people are at increased risk for complications from influenza. In young children, otitis media and respiratory complications such as croup, bronchiolitis, and tracheitis can occur. Other complications in children include cardiac (myocarditis and pericarditis), musculoskeletal (severe myositis), and neurologic (encephalopathy, encephalitis, transverse myelitis, and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis). Reye syndrome is associated with influenza (more common with influenza B than influenza A virus infections) and salicylate exposure; however Reye syndrome with influenza is very rare since aspirin use in children with influenza or varicella was recommended against in 1982. In peopleof all ages, influenza can result in dehydration, and exacerbation of underlying chronic medical conditions (e.g. heart failure, myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma), Both primary influenza viral pneumonia and secondary invasive bacterial pneumonia (most commonly with Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-sensitive or  methicillin-resistant, and group A Streptococcus) can lead to acute lung injury, respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock, and multi-organ failure. Invasive infection with Neisseria meningitidis resulting in meningococcemia and meningitis can follow influenza.

Information about influenza disease burden is available.

Information on currently approved influenza tests, and guidance on interpretation of testing results is available, as is guidance on antiviral treatment. The Infectious Diseases Society of America Influenza Clinical Practice Guidelinesexternal icon provide additional information about complications associated with influenza, influenza testing, interpretation of testing results, and treatment recommendations.

How long does the flu last?

The best treatment is to take steps to prevent illness.

Few common illnesses are more unpleasant than the flu. The aches and pains, chills, fever, and cough are bad enough; add in the other potential symptoms of flu, including runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, or sore throat, and you’ll want the illness to be over as soon as possible. How long does the flu last? And does treating flu help make it go away faster? The answers depend on your particular health.

Understanding flu

The flu—or influenza—is a highly contagious respiratory virus caused by one of three different virus types: influenza A, B, or C. The main way that illnesses like colds and the flu spread from person to person is through the droplets that sick people propel when they cough and sneeze. You can also get the flu by exposure to saliva passed by routine contact, such as kissing or sharing eating utensils.

How long does the flu last?

For most healthy people, the flu is an uncomfortable but short-term illness that resolves itself as the immune system fights it off. Symptoms usually appear from one to four days after exposure to the virus, and they last five to seven days. For people who’ve had a flu shot, the symptoms may last a shorter amount of time, or be less severe. For other people, the symptoms may last longer. Even when symptoms resolve, you may continue to feel fatigued.

Some people are at increased risk for complications from influenza. These people include:

  • the very young
  • people 65 or older
  • people with chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, HIV, or diabetes
  • pregnant women
  • people with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher

People in those groups may have weakened immune systems, and are at increased risk for the complication of pneumonia, which can be deadly.

Treating flu

If you get the flu, you should get rest and drink plenty of fluids. Take pain relievers to lower your fever and relieve the aches, such as:

  • acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • naproxen (Aleve)

If you are at high risk of complications, and if it is early in the infection, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug for treating flu, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu, generic versions).


To better predict how long the flu will last, take steps to reduce your risk of contracting the virus and experiencing severe symptoms. Consider the following steps, as suggested in the Harvard Special Report A Guide to Women’s Health: Fifty and Forward.

  • Get an annual flu vaccine.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before eating or touching your face.
  • Contact your doctor for promptly if you get flu symptoms.
  • Quit smoking. Smokers are more likely to get the flu than nonsmokers.

These steps won’t guarantee that you’ll escape the flu this year, but they may help prevent it. And they may help reduce the amount of time the flu lasts if you do become infected with the virus.

– By Heidi Godman
Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter


Dispel misinformation about the flu vaccine, sickness, treatment, and recovery by finding out these 10 Flu Myths.

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content.
Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date,
should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

How Long Does a Cold or the Flu Last?

With some viral illnesses, once you have been infected with it or have been vaccinated against it, you’re immune for life.

With the flu, however, immunity doesn’t last that long.

A study published in March 2017 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases confirmed that immunity declines over the months following vaccination or infection. (7)

Getting vaccinated every year is important to lower your likelihood of getting the flu. It takes about two weeks to develop immunity to the flu, and experts recommend getting vaccinated before flu season is in full swing to ensure adequate protection. (4)

“I think part of the problem with getting people vaccinated is people don’t understand how serious [the flu] can be,” says Dr. Troisi. “They confuse it with the common cold. But if you actually have the flu, you can get very sick.”

When Is Cold and Flu Season?

While it’s possible to get the flu year-round, most people get sick in the fall and winter. Flu season generally peaks between December and February, and can sometimes stretch into May, says the CDC. (8)

Most people get colds in the winter and spring, according to the CDC, but it’s possible to catch a cold in the summer or fall too. (1)

RELATED: No Flu Shot and Now You Have the Flu: What to Do?

Can The Same Home Remedies and Medicine Be Used for Both Cold and Flu?

There is no cure for a cold, the CDC says — it will get better on its own. (1) But prescription antiviral drugs may help with the flu, especially when taken within two days of the onset of symptoms. People with health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease that put them at at high risk for flu complications should seek treatment right away. (9)

As for home remedies, there is evidence that zinc, taken by mouth in the form of lozenges, tablets, or syrups, can help reduce the length of colds if taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). The NCCIH adds that zinc can cause nausea and gastrointestinal issues, and that it can interact with other medication, such as antibiotics. (10)

There is no strong scientific evidence that any natural product can cure the flu, says the NCCIH. (10)

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and Ibuprin) are effective treatments for fever and aches caused by either a cold or the flu. People with either illness should also be sure to rest and drink plenty of fluids. (3,4)

Additional reporting by Pamela Kaufman.

Compare causes, symptoms, treatments, and more

Influenza A vs. B causes | Prevalence | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatments | Risk factors | Prevention | When to see a doctor | FAQs | Resources

It starts small. You might wake up with an annoying throat tickle and a runny nose, or you might feel a little more groggy throughout the day than usual. But there’s more on the way. You come down with a fever, chills, body aches, and you’re couch-ridden with the flu. 

“The flu” has become a broad term that people use to incorrectly describe a wide range of illnesses. We often hear people say “oh, I came down with the stomach flu last week,” or “the kids got the 24-hour flu.” But “flu” refers to four types of influenza viruses (A, B, C, and D), most prominently influenza A and influenza B. 

Influenza A can infect humans and animals. In most cases, it’s associated with seasonal epidemics in the United States (aka “flu season“) and global pandemics. It’s always changing, so it has various subtypes, including the infamous bird flu (avian influenza) and swine flu. On the other hand, influenza B has two subtypes (Victoria and Yamagata), which occur, for the most part, only in humans and mutate slower, so it’s not really a pandemic risk. 

Read on for a complete guide to these two types of flu viruses.


Influenza A

The most common form of transmission is through tiny droplets created when an infected person talks, sneezes, coughs, or breathes heavily. Type A is also (albeit very rarely) contracted via contact with an infected animal, like a bird or pig. Influenza can also be transmitted through inanimate objects if a sick individual contaminates it, such as a doorknob. 

Influenza B

Like influenza A viruses, influenza type B is primarily transmitted through contact with the droplets when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, or talks. Animals aren’t usually susceptible to the influenza B virus, so generally aren’t considered to be carriers.  

Influenza A vs. B causes

  • Contact with droplets from an infected individual
  • Contact with infected animals (rare)
  • Contact with droplets from an infected individual

RELATED: Is the flu airborne? Learn how the flu spreads


Influenza A

Influenza A is the most common type of flu. It accounts for approximately 75% of total flu virus infections, and it’s the most likely cause of the “seasonal flu” that hits the U.S. every winter. That’s not a small number, especially considering the 25 to 50 million cases nationwide every year. 

During the 2018-19 flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tested 1,145,555 specimens for influenza, and of the 177,039 positive results, 95% were influenza A. 

Influenza A is further broken down into subtypes based on two proteins on the surface of the virus called hemagglutinin and neuraminidase. The subtypes of both of these proteins result in many different possible combinations and unique influenza A viruses. In addition, small genetic mutations that cause changes in these surface proteins over time may allow these strains to improve their ability to infect people each season. This characteristic presents challenges in predicting a predominantly circulating influenza A virus when it comes to deciding on the composition of the influenza vaccine months before the actual flu season hits. All of these factors together contribute to the predominance of influenza A virus infection each season. 

Influenza B

Of course, numbers and percentages can vary from season to season. For example, the early stages of the 2019-2020 influenza season saw influenza B as the most common type, especially among children. 

But most years, it takes a backseat to type A. It doesn’t spread quite as easily because it mutates slower and only has two main subtypes: Victoria and Yamagata. On average, though, type B infections account for around 25% of total flu cases. 

Influenza A vs. B prevalence

  • Around 75% of all influenza cases (on average)
  • About 25% of all influenza cases (on average)
  • More common and severe among children


Influenza A

Symptoms of influenza A tend to be similar regardless of subtype. The most common are runny nose, sore throat, fever, chills, body aches, and fatigue.

The main difference is their severity. Type A symptoms often come on stronger and sometimes result in hospitalization or even death. According to CDC.gov, influenza A accounted for 95.5% of all seasonal influenza hospitalizations during the 2018-19 season.

Influenza B

Type B causes similar symptoms to the ones listed above, but they’re usually milder. However, it still has the potential to increase in severity, causing hospitalization and death, particularly in children.  

Influenza A vs. B symptoms

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Chest discomfort
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Chest discomfort

(Symptoms can be less severe than influenza A)

RELATED: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vs. the flu vs. a cold


Influenza A

A physical exam is the first step. If the provider identifies common flu signs and symptoms and there is circulating flu activity in the local community, he or she will likely order a test to confirm the diagnosis. Every flu test requires a healthcare provider to swab a patient’s nose or sometimes throat. 

The fastest and most common test is a rapid influenza diagnostic test (RIDT). Results take 10 to 15 minutes, but they might be less accurate than other tests. Plus, RIDTs don’t provide information about the subtypes of influenza A. 

Rapid molecular assays are also common in-office tests. They take slightly longer but are more accurate than some RIDTs in that there is a less chance of a test producing a false negative or false positive. 

If the provider needs more detailed information about the virus’ genetic material and strain, he or she might send the swab to a lab for more in-depth molecular assays that can differentiate influenza A subtypes. 

Novel type A viruses, typically animal-borne, don’t often show up on more basic, commercially available tests. If a provider suspects a novel virus, he or she should discuss the possibility of a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test with local and state health departments. Viral culture is also another available test that is generally not used for clinical decision-making, but for a more extensive evaluation of viruses. Culture is most often used for monitoring of potentially novel influenza A or B viruses that might be considered for the next flu season vaccines. 

Influenza B

Like type A, the diagnosis begins with a physical examination, which can sometimes be enough to make a diagnosis. But a test is often necessary for confirmation. 

Even though type B is often a less complex virus, RIDTs are less sensitive to its antigens, so these tests aren’t always accurate. Consequently, a doctor might order a more robust test if they suspect a type B infection. 

Influenza A vs. B diagnosis

  • Rapid influenza diagnostic test (RIDT)
  • Rapid molecular assays
  • Viral culture
  • Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (if the doctor suspects a novel type A strain)
  • Rapid influenza diagnostic test (RIDT)
  • Rapid molecular assays
  • Viral culture


Influenza A

Unfortunately, no treatment will completely eradicate the flu virus. But there are ways to manage its symptoms and reduce its duration. 

Most people simply hunker down with home remedies like lots of fluids, plenty of rest, homemade chicken soup, and pain relievers like ibuprofen (Motrin) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). These are often effective, but only in mitigating flu symptoms. 

For people with influenza A who are part of high-risk groups for complications (children, the elderly, other medical conditions), or who have severe symptoms, healthcare providers might prescribe an antiviral medication like Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate), Relenza (zanamivir), or Rapivab (peramivir). These drugs won’t eliminate the virus, but they’ll reduce its ability to attach to cells and further replicate, potentially shortening its duration and preventing further complications. They’re most effective if taken within 48 hours of getting sick.

Influenza B

Type B treatments are nearly identical to type A treatments. The most common response is simply to let the illness run its course while consuming fluids, resting, and taking over-the-counter medications.  

Because influenza B is generally less severe, it might not require antiviral medication, although healthcare providers might still prescribe them for high-risk individuals. 

Influenza A vs. B treatments

  • Home remedies (fluids, rest, OTC pain relievers)
  • Prescription antivirals
  • Home remedies (fluids, rest, OTC pain relievers)
  • Prescription antivirals

RELATED: Influenza treatments and medications

Risk factors

Influenza A

Influenza A is unpleasant for the average person. Still, it can be dangerous for seniors (65 or older), children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, or people with a chronic health condition (like heart disease, kidney disease, or asthma). 

Influenza B

Risk factors for type B infections and complications are very similar, although influenza B is more prevalent among children.  

Influenza A vs. B risk factors

  • Aged 65 or older
  • Aged 5 or younger
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Chronic conditions (asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, etc.)
  • Weakened immune system
  • Aged 65 or older
  • Aged 5 or younger
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Chronic conditions (asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, etc.)
  • Weakened immune system

RELATED: Which groups are at high-risk for flu complications?


Influenza A

One effective strategy for effective flu prevention (and healthy living in general) is to limit potential exposure. This means washing hands, avoiding extended contact with infected individuals, disinfecting infected surfaces, etc. Anyone who’s already come down with influenza A can help stop its spread by staying home and coughing or sneezing into their elbow.  

Beyond that, the most effective line of defense is the influenza vaccine (flu shot). There are two types. A trivalent vaccine protects against two influenza A strains (h2N1 and h4N2) and one influenza B strain, while a quadrivalent vaccine prevents against those three plus one more type B strain. 

Strains of influenza A (h4N2) can mutate quickly, though, so health officials have to anticipate its evolution every year. As a result, the seasonal flu vaccine can be less effective in preventing type A infections if that prediction is off.

Influenza B

Taking the same general precautions (washing hands, avoiding sick individuals, etc.) effectively prevents type B infection and spread. The flu vaccine is typically a safe bet for influenza B, but it might not always be a perfect match for the annual strain. 

It’s important to dispel a common myth here. Getting a flu shot will not infect someone with influenza A or B. The vaccines contain dead viruses or a single influenza protein, or in the case of the nasal spray vaccine weakened live virus, none of which are enough to infect a human.

How to prevent influenza A vs. B

  • Avoiding sick individuals
  • Washing hands
  • Disinfecting surfaces
  • Maintaining healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise habits
  • Seasonal flu vaccine
  • Avoiding sick individuals
  • Washing hands
  • Disinfecting surfaces
  • Maintaining healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise habits
  • Seasonal flu vaccine

When to see a doctor for influenza A or B

A majority of people will ride out the flu from home with only mild-to-moderate symptoms. But sometimes it’s better to visit your healthcare provider. Anyone with one or more of the risk factors for complications listed above should consider seeing a professional to make sure it doesn’t evolve into a more severe disease or respiratory infection. 

A healthcare provider might also be necessary for individuals with severe or prolonged symptoms or other complications like difficulty breathing, chest pain, sudden dizziness, vomiting, neck stiffness, or loss of consciousness.

Frequently asked questions about Influenza A and B

Which is worse: influenza A or influenza B?

Influenza type A and type B are similar, but type A is overall more prevalent, sometimes more severe, and can cause flu epidemics and pandemics. 

Is influenza A virus or bacteria?

Influenza A is a virus, although it may present with similar symptoms of common respiratory bacterial infections, like sinusitis. 

How long does Type A flu last?

Symptoms typically last five to seven days, although they can linger for up to two weeks. Getting a pre-emptive flu shot or taking antiviral medications can help shorten the duration.

How long is influenza A and B contagious?

People with the flu are contagious one day before symptoms develop and five to seven days after that.

Does influenza go away on its own?

In most cases, yes. Generally, it will run its course in seven to 10 days. High-risk individuals (children, the elderly, those with pre-existing conditions, etc. ) may need to see a healthcare provider to prevent further flu complications.


How long does the flu last? Timeline and recovery

Many sources discuss the common cold and flu as though they are interchangeable, but the flu is usually worse than the common cold. Although most people with the flu feel better after about a week, the illness can last longer if a person develops complications.

The flu can leave a person unable to work, perform household duties, or tend to children for several days. Some people develop severe symptoms and may need hospital care.

In this article, we discuss how long the flu usually lasts, a timeline of the common symptoms, and when to see a doctor for treatment.

For people who do not develop serious flu complications, symptoms usually last 3–7 days. Some people find that their symptoms get better and then worse again or that they are worse at certain times of the day, such as in the morning.

Although fever and the most severe symptoms typically resolve within a week, some people have low energy for up to 2 weeks, and it is possible to experience a cough for up to 8 weeks.

The flu shot reduces the risk of getting the flu but does not eliminate it. However, people who still get the flu after receiving a shot tend to have less severe symptoms that last for a shorter period.

Antiviral drugs, such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu), can also shorten the length of the flu and lower the risk of serious complications.

Infants and very young children, older adults, and people with respiratory diseases may have symptoms that last longer. These individuals are also more vulnerable to serious flu complications, such as pneumonia and breathing difficulties.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 200,000 people in the United States need to go to the hospital each year as a result of the flu.

Flu complications are unlikely to resolve on their own, and they can be a medical emergency. They may require a person to stay in the hospital. It can be weeks or even months before a person recovers from serious flu complications.

Unlike the cold and other viruses, which present gradually, flu symptoms tend to appear suddenly. Within a few hours, a person may transition from feeling fine to having a fever and other symptoms.

A high fever occurs more commonly with the flu than with a cold, and it often appears before other symptoms.

The most common symptoms of the flu include:

  • high fever
  • chills
  • muscle aches
  • a headache
  • weakness and extreme exhaustion
  • a dry cough
  • a sore throat
  • vomiting
  • congestion

The symptoms tend to peak between days 2 and 4. By day 5, some people begin to feel better. A few feel well enough to return to work or school.

However, it is important to stay at home for 24 hours after a fever breaks. If the fever only goes away with anti-fever medication, remain at home.

By day 7, most people feel significantly better, although some are still sick. It is not unusual for the flu to last longer than a week, so slow healing is not necessarily a bad sign. However, if the symptoms continue to get worse after a week, it may be best to see a doctor.

The best and most effective treatment for the flu is an antiviral flu drug. Taking this drug within 2 days of getting sick may shorten the duration of the flu and help a person avoid complications.

Before taking any anti-flu medication, a person can weigh up the risks and benefits with a doctor. It is important to tell the doctor about any previous health problems or drug reactions because some people experience side effects when they take anti-flu drugs.

Antibiotics cannot treat the flu. The flu is a virus, and antibiotics only treat bacterial infections.

However, some people develop secondary infections because of the flu. Children are especially vulnerable to ear infections, but adults can get them too. If symptoms suddenly change or get worse, this could mean that there is a new infection, which could be viral or bacterial.

The following strategies can help speed up the healing process:

  • Resting and staying in bed.
  • Avoiding going to work, school, or anywhere else, as this can spread the flu.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids. If fever or vomiting occurs, try drinking an electrolyte drink to prevent dehydration.
  • Using over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Washing the hands frequently to avoid spreading the infection to other members of the household.

People should try to see a doctor within 24 to 48 hours after flu symptoms appear, as this is when antiviral treatments are most effective.

It is also important to see a doctor if symptoms do not improve after 7 days or new symptoms, such as ear pain, appear.

People should seek emergency medical treatment if:

  • breathing becomes difficult or labored
  • muscle pain is unbearable or severe enough to prevent walking
  • a child develops a fever above 104°F
  • when breathing, a child or infant makes loud sounds or pulls in the muscles around their ribs
  • a person has seizures, loses consciousness, seems confused, or is unable to communicate effectively
  • a baby under the age of 12 weeks develops a fever
  • symptoms of chronic medical conditions get worse
  • there is intense dizziness that does not go away after a few hours
  • a person stops urinating or urinates very rarely
  • symptoms get better but then return later and are worse

Most people who get the flu will have symptoms that last between 3 and 7 days. If they develop complications, they may be ill for longer.

Thousands of people die from the flu every year. Children, older adults, or people with compromised immune systems are much more vulnerable to flu complications. People should take the flu seriously by resting and avoiding public places until their symptoms disappear.

With rest and medical care, it is possible to recover even from serious complications. Anyone with severe flu symptoms should see a doctor. To reduce the risk of getting the flu again, a person can get the flu shot every year.

Flu Symptoms, Duration, Contagious Period, Flu Shot Side Effects, Treatment & COVID-19

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Influenza (flu) – Symptoms and causes


Influenza is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system — your nose, throat and lungs. Influenza is commonly called the flu, but it’s not the same as stomach “flu” viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting.

For most people, the flu resolves on its own. But sometimes, influenza and its complications can be deadly. People at higher risk of developing flu complications include:

  • Young children under age 5, and especially those under 6 months
  • Adults older than age 65
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • Pregnant women and women up to two weeks after giving birth
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Native Americans
  • People who have chronic illnesses, such as asthma, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease and diabetes
  • People who are very obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher

Though the annual influenza vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it’s still your best defense against the flu.

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At first, the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. But colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on suddenly. And although a cold can be a bother, you usually feel much worse with the flu.

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever
  • Aching muscles
  • Chills and sweats
  • Headache
  • Dry, persistent cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Eye pain
  • Vomiting and diarrhea, but this is more common in children than adults

Related information

COVID-19 and flu: Similarities and differences

When to see a doctor

Most people who get the flu can treat themselves at home and often don’t need to see a doctor.

If you have flu symptoms and are at risk of complications, see your doctor right away. Taking antiviral drugs may reduce the length of your illness and help prevent more-serious problems.

If you have emergency signs and symptoms of the flu, get medical care right away. For adults, emergency signs and symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Ongoing dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Worsening of existing medical conditions
  • Severe weakness or muscle pain

Emergency signs and symptoms in children can include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blue lips
  • Chest pain
  • Dehydration
  • Severe muscle pain
  • Seizures
  • Worsening of existing medical conditions


Influenza viruses travel through the air in droplets when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes or talks. You can inhale the droplets directly, or you can pick up the germs from an object — such as a telephone or computer keyboard — and then transfer them to your eyes, nose or mouth.

People with the virus are likely contagious from about a day before symptoms appear until about five days after they start. Children and people with weakened immune systems may be contagious for a slightly longer time.

Influenza viruses are constantly changing, with new strains appearing regularly. If you’ve had influenza in the past, your body has already made antibodies to fight that specific strain of the virus. If future influenza viruses are similar to those you’ve encountered before, either by having the disease or by getting vaccinated, those antibodies may prevent infection or lessen its severity. But antibody levels may decline over time.

Also, antibodies against influenza viruses you’ve encountered in the past may not protect you from new influenza strains that can be very different viruses from what you had before.

Risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of developing the flu or its complications include:

  • Age. Seasonal influenza tends to target children 6 months to 5 years old, and adults 65 years old or older.
  • Living or working conditions. People who live or work in facilities with many other residents, such as nursing homes or military barracks, are more likely to develop the flu. People who are staying in the hospital are also at higher risk.
  • Weakened immune system. Cancer treatments, anti-rejection drugs, long-term use of steroids, organ transplant, blood cancer or HIV/AIDS can weaken your immune system. This can make it easier for you to catch the flu and may also increase your risk of developing complications.
  • Chronic illnesses. Chronic conditions, including lung diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, nervous system diseases, metabolic disorders, an airway abnormality, and kidney, liver or blood disease, may increase your risk of influenza complications.
  • Race. Native American people may have an increased risk of influenza complications.
  • Aspirin use under age 19. People who are younger than 19 years of age and receiving long-term aspirin therapy are at risk of developing Reye’s syndrome if infected with influenza.
  • Pregnancy. Pregnant women are more likely to develop influenza complications, particularly in the second and third trimesters. Women are more likely to develop influenza-related complications up to two weeks after delivering their babies.
  • Obesity. People with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more have an increased risk of flu complications.


If you’re young and healthy, the flu usually isn’t serious. Although you may feel miserable while you have it, the flu usually goes away in a week or two with no lasting effects. But children and adults at high risk may develop complications that may include:

  • Pneumonia
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma flare-ups
  • Heart problems
  • Ear infections
  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome

Pneumonia is one of the most serious complications. For older adults and people with a chronic illness, pneumonia can be deadly.


Flu vaccines at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic offers flu shots in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Learn more about how to get your flu shot at Mayo Clinic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends annual flu vaccination for everyone age 6 months or older. The flu vaccine can reduce your risk of the flu and its severity and lower the risk of having serious illness from the flu and needing to stay in the hospital.

Flu vaccination is especially important this season because the flu and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cause similar symptoms. Flu vaccination could reduce symptoms that might be confused with those caused by COVID-19. Preventing the flu and reducing the severity of flu illness and hospitalizations could also lessen the number of people needing to stay in the hospital.

Each year’s seasonal flu vaccine provides protection from the three or four influenza viruses that are expected to be the most common during that year’s flu season. This year, the vaccine will be available as an injection and as a nasal spray.

In recent years, there was concern that the nasal spray vaccine wasn’t effective enough against certain types of flu. However, the nasal spray vaccine is expected to be effective in the 2020-2021 season. The nasal spray still isn’t recommended for some groups, such as pregnant women, children between 2 and 4 years old with asthma or wheezing, and people who have compromised immune systems.

If you have an egg allergy, you can still get a flu vaccine.

Mayo Clinic Minute: Why getting vaccinated for the flu is doubly important this season

Controlling the spread of infection

The influenza vaccine isn’t 100% effective, so it’s also important to take several measures to reduce the spread of infection, including:

  • Wash your hands. Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is an effective way to prevent many common infections. Or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Avoid touching your face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Then wash your hands.
  • Clean surfaces. Regularly clean often-touched surfaces to prevent spread of infection from touching a surface with the virus on it and then your face.
  • Avoid crowds. The flu spreads easily wherever people gather — in child care centers, schools, office buildings, auditoriums and public transportation. By avoiding crowds during peak flu season, you reduce your chances of infection.

    Also avoid anyone who is sick. And if you’re sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone so that you lessen your chance of infecting others.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, both COVID-19 and the flu may be spreading at the same time. Your local health department and the CDC may suggest other precautions to reduce your risk of COVID-19 or the flu. For example, you may need to practice social distancing (physical distancing) and stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) from others outside your household. You may also need to wear a cloth face mask when around people outside your household.

Dec. 19, 2020

90,000 Memo for the population on the prevention of influenza, coronavirus infection and other acute respiratory viral infections

ref: Memo: Prevention of influenza and coronavirus infection


Influenza, coronavirus infection and other acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI)

Influenza, coronavirus infection and other acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) are in first place in terms of the number of people who become ill each year.

Despite constant efforts to combat the causative agents of influenza, coronavirus infection and other acute respiratory viral infections, they still have not been defeated.

Thousands of people die from complications of influenza every year.

This is due to the fact that viruses, primarily influenza viruses and coronaviruses, have the ability to change their structure and a mutated virus is capable of infecting a person again. So, a person who has had the flu has a good immune barrier, but nevertheless a new modified virus is able to easily penetrate through it, since the body has not yet developed immunity against this type of virus.

For whom is the most dangerous encounter with the virus?

Children and the elderly are especially hard to tolerate the infection; for these age groups, complications that can develop during the illness are very dangerous. Children get sick more seriously due to the fact that their immune systems have not yet met this virus, and for the elderly, as well as for people with chronic diseases, the virus is dangerous due to a weakened immune system.

Risk groups


People over 60 years old

People with chronic lung diseases (bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

People with chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system (congenital heart defects, coronary heart disease, heart failure)

Pregnant women

Medical professionals

Workers of public transport, catering establishments

How does the infection occur?

The infection is transmitted from a sick person to a healthy person through the smallest droplets of saliva or mucus that are released during sneezing, coughing, talking.Contact transmission is also possible.


Depending on the specific type of pathogen, symptoms can vary significantly, both in severity and in combination.

Temperature rise

Chills, general malaise, weakness headache, muscle pain

Decreased appetite, possible nausea and vomiting

Conjunctivitis (possibly)

Diarrhea (possible)

On average, the illness lasts about 5 days. If the temperature lasts longer, complications may have arisen.



Encephalitis, meningitis

Complications of pregnancy, development of fetal pathology

Aggravation of chronic diseases

Treatment of the disease is carried out under the supervision of a physician who, only after examining the patient, prescribes a treatment regimen and gives other recommendations. The sick person must comply with bed rest, eat well and drink more fluids.


Taking antibiotics in the early days of the disease is a big mistake. Antibiotics are not able to cope with the virus, in addition, they adversely affect the normal microflora. Antibiotics are prescribed only by a doctor, only in case of complications caused by the addition of a bacterial infection. Taking antibacterial drugs as a preventive measure for the development of complications is dangerous and useless.

A sick person should stay at home and not pose a threat of infection to others.


The most effective way to prevent influenza is to get vaccinated annually. The composition of the influenza vaccine changes annually. First of all, it is recommended to get vaccinated for those who are at risk. The optimal time for vaccination is October-November. Influenza vaccination is possible from 6 months of age onwards.

Vaccines against most pathogens of acute respiratory viral infections have not been developed.

Universal prevention measures

Wash your hands often and thoroughly

Avoid contact with coughing people

Follow a healthy lifestyle (sleep, healthy food, physical activity)

Drink plenty of fluids

Ventilate and humidify the air in the room you are in on a regular basis

Rarely be in crowded places

Use a mask when in public transport or in public places

Avoid hugging, kissing and shaking hands when meeting

Do not touch your face, eyes, nose with unwashed hands

At the first sign of a viral infection – consult a doctor!

Hygiene for influenza, coronavirus infection and other acute respiratory viral infections

What should you do during the period of active circulation of pathogens of influenza, coronavirus infection and other pathogens of acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) in order to prevent your own infection and protect those around you if you get sick?

The causative agents of all these diseases are highly contagious and are transmitted mainly by airborne droplets.

When sneezing and coughing in the air around a sick person, microdroplets of his saliva, sputum and respiratory secretions, which contain viruses, are spread. Larger droplets settle on surrounding objects and surfaces, small ones stay in the air for a long time and are transported to distances of up to several hundred meters, while viruses retain the ability to infect from several hours to several days. The main measures of hygienic prevention are aimed at preventing healthy people from contact with particles of a sick person’s secretions containing viruses.

Compliance with the following hygiene rules will significantly reduce the risk of infection or further spread of influenza, coronavirus infection and other ARVI.

How not to get infected

· Wash hands after visiting any public places, transport, touching doorknobs, money, public office equipment in the workplace, before eating and preparing food. Pay special attention to thoroughly soaping (at least 20 seconds), and then completely drying your hands.

· After returning home from the street – wash your hands and face with soap, rinse your nose with isotonic salt solution.

· Touch the face and eyes with freshly washed hands. If water and soap are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers to clean your hands. Or use a disposable napkin, if necessary, touching the eyes or nose

· Put on a disposable medical mask in crowded places and in transport.It is necessary to change the mask to a new one every 2-3 hours; the mask cannot be reused.

· Give preference to sleek hairstyles when you are in crowded places, loose hair, often in contact with your face, increases the risk of infection.

· Avoid close contact and stay in the same room with people with visible signs of SARS (coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge).

· Do not touch door handles, railings, other objects and surfaces in public spaces with bare hands.

· Limit welcome handshakes, kisses, and hugs.

· Ventilate the premises more often.

· Do not use shared towels.

How not to infect others

· Minimize contact with healthy people (welcome handshakes, kisses).

· If you feel unwell, but have to communicate with other people or use public transport – use a disposable mask, be sure to change it to a new one every hour.

· When coughing or sneezing, be sure to cover your mouth, if possible – with a disposable handkerchief, if not – with your palms or elbows.

· Use only personal or disposable tableware.

· Isolate your personal hygiene items from household members: toothbrush, washcloth, towels.

· Carry out wet cleaning of the house every day, including the treatment of door handles, switches, office equipment control panels.

Influenza, coronavirus, other acute respiratory viral infections – a mask will help!

During the period of active circulation of pathogens of influenza, coronavirus infection, and other pathogens of acute respiratory viral infections, we remind you of the advisability of using a disposable medical mask as an effective measure to prevent infection and limit the spread of infection.

These viruses are transmitted from person to person mainly by airborne droplets, through microdroplets of respiratory secretions that are formed when infected people speak, sneeze or cough.

With the air, these droplets can get onto the surface of the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract of healthy people who are near an infected person.

Infection can also occur as a result of direct or indirect contact of a healthy person with the respiratory secretions of an infected person.

The use of a disposable medical mask prevents droplets of respiratory secretions, which may contain viruses, from entering the body of a healthy person through the nose and mouth.

· Wear a mask when caring for a family member with symptoms of a viral respiratory illness.

· If you are sick or have symptoms of a viral respiratory illness, wear a mask before approaching other people.

· If you have symptoms of a viral respiratory illness and need to see a doctor, wear a mask well in advance to protect those around you in the waiting area.

· Wear a mask when in crowded places.

· Use the mask once; reuse of the mask is not allowed.

· Change mask every 2-3 hours or more often.

· If the mask is wet, it should be replaced with a new one.

· After using the mask, discard it and wash your hands.

Disposable medical mask, if used correctly, is a reliable and effective method of reducing the risk of infection and preventing the spread of influenza, coronavirus and other pathogens of ARVI.

90,000 Acute respiratory viral infection (ARVI)

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Acute respiratory viral infection (ARVI) – respiratory tract infection caused by viruses.

About two hundred varieties of viruses are known that cause ARVI (the most famous is the influenza virus).

All viruses are highly contagious, transmitted by airborne droplets, diseases caused by viruses have similar symptoms.

Symptoms of ARVI

  • temperature rise
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • headache
  • sneezing
  • weakness, malaise

If you experience these symptoms, we advise you to make an appointment with your doctor. Timely consultation will prevent negative consequences for your health.Phone for appointment +7 (495) 292-39-72

ARVI treatment

The main thing in ARVI treatment is to help the immune system cope with the disease. It is necessary to mitigate the symptoms of the development of the disease. During the course of the disease, it is necessary to constantly be in warmth and rest in order to prevent the spread of the virus around and to avoid possible complications. It is advisable to take a large amount of warm drinks, which helps flush viruses and toxins from the body and improves the functioning of the immune system.It is best to drink diluted fruit juice, decoctions or herbal infusions, and chicken broth.

The temperature can be brought down with antipyretics, but you should not abuse them, since with ARVI temperature is a protective reaction that helps the body fight infection. In addition, the duration of a fever for more than 3 days at a level of 38 degrees and above may indicate the development of complications of acute respiratory viral infections (acute sinusitis, acute otitis media, pneumonia). In this case, not only the treatment of the viral infection is required, but also its complications.

Attention! If after 3-5 days your health worsens, the temperature rises again, see a doctor immediately, this may indicate bacterial complications.

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90,000 ARVI – causes, symptoms and treatment

Each of us has come across a diagnosis of ARVI more than once in our lives. This abbreviation stands for Acute Respiratory Viral Infection. In the people, the disease is simply called a cold.

ARVI unites a number of inflammatory diseases, which are characterized by the following symptoms:

  • causative agent – virus;
  • airborne infection route;
  • primary lesion of the respiratory system;
  • rapid development and acute course of the disease, which itself lasts for a relatively short time.

Do you have symptoms of SARS?

Only a doctor can accurately diagnose the disease.Do not delay the consultation – call

+7 (495) 775-73-60

What you need to know about the disease:

  • SARS provoke parainfluenza viruses, rhinoviruses, reoviruses, adenoviruses and many others, more than 200 species in total.
  • All of them are easily transmitted by airborne droplets, as well as by skin contact. From the moment of infection to the development of the disease, a relatively short time passes, about 2 days.
  • When breathing and sneezing, patients release pathogens into the air, which enter the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract of healthy people, settle there and begin to produce toxins.They spread throughout the body and cause general intoxication, manifested in the form of headaches, fever, aching joints and muscles. Respiratory symptoms also occur: runny nose, cough, sore throat.
  • In the acute period of the development of the disease, a person feels overwhelmed, unable to work fully.

Risk factors

Most often, children get sick with ARVI, since their immune system is still being formed.The disease can be quite difficult, complications often arise. Adults, as a rule, get sick less often, sometimes they do not even have a fever. But if ARVI was diagnosed several times per season, you need to sound the alarm. You should consult a doctor and undergo additional examinations.

Many do not take this viral disease seriously, carry it on their feet, continue to go to work even when the temperature rises. However, you should not neglect a viral infection.First, a sick person infects others. Secondly, ARVI on the legs is fraught with serious complications, such as otitis media, sinusitis, myocarditis, pneumonia, meningitis, that is, a bacterial infection develops on the basis of a viral infection. Treatment of these diseases is long and expensive, hospitalization is often indicated. ARVI is especially dangerous for people who have chronic diseases, weakened immunity, work hard and are malnourished.


How many days does ARVI last? Usually, the acute period of a viral disease passes after 3-4 days, the symptoms gradually disappear, the sore throat disappears, and the runny nose decreases.But if after 7 days from the onset of the disease the symptomatology continues to remain pronounced, the appearance of a complication is possible. The virus actively multiplies in the respiratory tract, inhibiting the ciliated epithelium, which acts as a kind of filter of the lungs. Therefore, during this period, other viruses and bacteria can freely enter the lungs and other organs. Often, complications go away without any symptoms, but they are doubly insidious, since they greatly reduce immunity.

After ARVI, doctors can state the development of many serious diseases.

  • The most common diagnosis is bronchitis, an inflammatory process in the bronchi. It is accompanied by a deep cough, shortness of breath, and increased sweating. At the same time, the temperature does not always rise, and the cough, at first dry, tearful, eventually turns into wet. In extreme cases, purulent bronchitis develops.
  • Sinusitis – inflammation of the maxillary sinuses. It is suspected when the patient complains of aching headache, persistent nasal congestion, impaired nasal breathing, discharge.The temperature is kept at 37 °. If left untreated, the infection can spread further, which is especially dangerous for children. In adults, an acute condition can become chronic.
  • One of the most dangerous complications is pneumonia, inflammation of the lung tissue. Its symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) are similar to bronchitis, but the temperature lasts longer, there is a general breakdown. To confirm the suspicion of pneumonia, an X-ray examination is prescribed. Treatment takes a very long time, strong antibiotics are used, hospitalization is indicated.
  • Myocarditis – inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). Often occurs even after acute respiratory viral infection, proceeding in a mild form. Manifested by general weakness, shortness of breath, heart rhythm disturbances. Without proper treatment, it threatens chronic heart disease.
  • When an infection from the nose travels to the side of the ear, otitis media, an inflammation of the lining of the middle ear and the eardrum, may occur. In the acute period, severe pain occurs, the temperature rises. Without proper treatment, hearing deteriorates, and if the auditory nerve is damaged, it can disappear completely.
  • A dangerous complication of ARVI is pyelonephritis – an inflammatory process in the kidneys, the characteristic features of which are pain in the lumbar region. However, in adults, the disease can go away without symptoms. Diagnose it by the analysis of urine, showing an increased content of leukocytes.
  • Meningitis, an inflammation of the lining of the brain or spinal cord, can be a fatal complication.

Preparing for a visit / visit to a doctor

If ARVI develops in children, parents call a doctor at home or go to the clinic.But most adults ignore the common cold. At best, they are treated at home, at worst – on the advice of friends or TV advertisements, they take medications and continue to go to work. As a result, through the fault of self-prescribed drugs, chronic pathologies, complications, allergies, and intestinal disorders arise.

SARS is not as safe as it seems because of its consequences. Doctors strongly recommend fighting it under the supervision of specialists and not self-medicating.

Colds are especially insidious in relation to the elderly and people with chronic diseases.SARS is caused by different viruses, in each case manifesting themselves differently. Only a doctor is capable of making an accurate diagnosis and choosing the correct treatment regimen. A person can call a therapist at home if he himself cannot come to an appointment due to the following symptoms:

  • temperatures 38 ° and above;
  • cumulative signs of ARVI and influenza during epidemics;
  • severe pain in the spine and joints;
  • high or low blood pressure, dizziness;
  • severe nausea and vomiting, diarrhea.

If the temperature is below 38 °, but the patient cannot come to the hospital for the reasons listed above, he also has the right to call a doctor at home with ARVI.

During an examination at home or in a polyclinic, the doctor asks the patient about the symptoms, how long the temperature is, measures the pressure, palpates the abdomen and peripheral lymph nodes, examines the skin, mucous membranes, taps and listens to the chest, heart, and measures the respiratory rate.

Diagnostics of ARVI

Doctors diagnose ARVI based on the patient’s complaints and visual examination. Additionally, urine and blood tests are prescribed. Hospitalization is usually not required. If a person follows the recommendations of a doctor, the infection recedes quite quickly at home.Since the incidence of ARVI is most often epidemic in nature, doctors do not try to identify a specific pathogen.

At the diagnostic stage, it is important not to confuse ARVI with influenza, since the symptoms are very similar.

  • Usually ARVI develops gradually.
  • Initially, there is general weakness, a feeling of weakness, a runny nose, sore throat, hoarseness appear almost immediately, headache and fever may occur.
  • Influenza, unlike SARS, always begins very acutely, with intense headache, high fever, sore eyes, severe aches in the joints and muscles.
  • Often a person cannot get out of bed due to weakness and dizziness.
  • A runny nose or cough (catarrhal manifestations) appears only after a few days, when the pain disappears and the temperature decreases.

In any case, if you have the above symptoms, you cannot engage in self-diagnosis.You need to see a doctor.

How to treat ARVI

For ARVI, bed rest is recommended. Drink plenty of fluids. If the temperature rises above 38.5 °, it is necessary to take antipyretic drugs. The rest of the medications must be prescribed by a doctor.

With ARVI, antibiotics are not prescribed. They do not work against viruses, but only overload the liver. The use of such drugs is advisable if a bacterial develops against the background of a viral infection.

  • The main recommendation of doctors for ARVI is to drink a lot to prevent dehydration. The mucous membranes perform an important function – they take the first blow, trapping viruses. If the mucous membrane is too dry, it cannot do its job, and viruses enter the body again and again.Mucus in the nose, phlegm in the bronchi – this is also a protective reaction of the body. For the formation of these substances, moisture is also required, if it is not enough, you should not even count on a quick recovery. Moisture is also lost as the temperature rises. For colds, it is advised to drink at least two liters of liquid per day: warm herbal teas, fruit drinks, compotes. You can not drink alcohol, coffee and soda, because they have the opposite effect – they remove liquid.
  • It is important to control the humidity in the room.In apartments with centralized heating, this figure sometimes drops to 15–20%, which leads to drying out of the mucous membrane. For the same purpose, it is recommended to rinse the nose with isotonic (0.9%) saline solution, as well as gargle the throat, since salt has the property of retaining moisture.
  • If the general condition is poor, the head and throat are very sore, with ARVI, you can take inexpensive drugs based on ibuprofen or paracetamol, which also have the property of lowering the temperature.
  • It is recommended to ventilate the room more often, as viruses proliferate in dry and warm environments.It is better to stay at home for a few days, to allow the body to direct all its forces to fight the virus. A cold on the legs will stretch the time of the illness, and this threatens with complications.
  • Pregnant women should be especially careful about their health. At the first symptoms of ARVI, you should consult a doctor. It is strictly forbidden to self-medicate. After all, some drugs, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, are dangerous for the baby.

Doctors warn about the dangers of taking even the most effective antiviral drugs for ARVI without the recommendation of a therapist.This does not always give the desired result, and side effects are quite possible.

How to cure ARVI with home remedies

There are many folk remedies for dealing with colds, many of them are very effective. However, today they do not always work independently, since viruses mutate and adapt very quickly.

Doctors support grandmother’s advice to drink tea with raspberries, milk with honey and butter. Drinking warm drinks for colds is highly desirable. Ginger effectively fights viruses. Tea with ginger, honey and lemon is an excellent warming agent in the cold season. It strengthens the immune system, has diaphoretic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Myths and dangerous misconceptions in the treatment of ARVI

  • The temperature in the range of 37–38.5 ° does not need to be knocked down.It testifies that a natural defense mechanism has turned on, the immune system has begun to work.
  • Inhalation is recommended, but today it is better to use not a pot of boiled potatoes for this, but safe modern inhalers bought at a pharmacy.
  • It makes no sense to use cans and mustard plasters, since no one has been able to prove their effectiveness. For warming up (in the absence of elevated temperature!), It is better to use pharmacy ointments and dry heat.
  • Do not put undiluted onion and garlic juice into the nose, this will burn the nasopharynx. Although these plants themselves are very useful because they contain phytoncides.
  • There is an opinion that after an illness, immunity to colds is developed, but ARVI is a group of respiratory diseases, the causative agents of which are different viruses and their strains. Having been ill once, you can soon get sick again if the infection has occurred with another virus. In addition, these agents change very quickly, so the immune system has no time to adapt.However, proper nutrition, rich in vitamins and minerals, adequate physical activity, walks in the fresh air and a positive attitude can strengthen the immune system and resist viral infection.


  • During epidemics, doctors recommend that children and people with weakened immunity limit visits to public places.In schools, quarantine is quite reasonable for this.
  • Adults who are forced to go to work, to the shops to shop, or to use public transport are advised to wash their hands more often with soap and water, and use a disinfectant spray.
  • It also does not hurt to rinse the nose with isotonic sea salt or common table salt.
  • Prepare in advance for cold season. Doctors recommend adhering to the principles of a healthy diet, eating enough vegetables and fruits, limiting alcohol consumption, not smoking, and sleeping for at least 8 hours.
  • Hardening is a very effective means of preventing ARVI. It helps to increase the adaptive properties of the body. In hardened people, there is a faster reaction of blood vessels to cold, higher heat production and a range of temperature activity. Their blood circulation improves, metabolism is normalized.
  • It is important to maintain optimal air humidity in the home at all times, and not only during illness. In city apartments during the heating season, doctors recommend using humidifiers to increase it to at least 60%, especially in the children’s room.

Since ARVI is caused by different viruses, there is no universal vaccine for the common cold yet. But against certain types of pathogens, effective drugs are developed annually. In the fall, it is recommended to get vaccinated against influenza, doctors always predict quite accurately what type of virus will prevail during the epidemic season. However, it should be noted: vaccination does not guarantee that you will not get sick at all, nevertheless, the disease will be much easier.

90,000 The problem of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of acute respiratory viral infections.

The problem of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of acute respiratory viral infections is relevant for any country in the world and for each person individually. During annual epidemics, influenza affects at least 10% of the world’s population.

Annually in Russia about 50 million cases of infectious diseases are registered, among which ARVI make up 90%. Timely use of effective antiviral agents as part of the complex therapy of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections allows, in the overwhelming majority of cases, to avoid the development of severe complications and, moreover, deaths.

ARI, ARVI, ARVD – these terms mean acute respiratory viral diseases, which are a heterogeneous group of infectious diseases of the respiratory system, they are characterized by similar mechanisms of development of the disease and many common symptoms.

The maximum clinical effect in the treatment of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections can be achieved only with the combined and sequential administration of drugs prescribed by a doctor, since only in this case there is a suppression of viruses with a simultaneous correction of disorders of the immune systems and interferon.

The drugs used for the prevention and treatment of ARVI should perform the following functions:

– Eliminate the pathogen;

– Stimulate the body’s defenses;

– Correct functional disorders arising in the course of the disease;

Control of viral infections can be:

-specific, obtained with the help of vaccines;

-nonspecific, when the stimulation of natural resistance is achieved with the help of immunomodulators – special medications;

-chemical: with the help of chemotherapy.

Specific prophylaxis is carried out in the pre-epidemic period. Specific prophylaxis of the population is carried out using special vaccines. The strain composition of vaccines changes annually, in accordance with WHO recommendations. With the introduction of the drug, a weakened natural infection is reproduced, during which both local and general cellular and humoral immunity is formed, due to which a protective barrier is formed at the entrance gate of the infection. It is important that influenza vaccines are also capable of forming herd immunity – when at least 50% of the collective is vaccinated, the incidence of unvaccinated persons also decreases.

Pre-epidemic influenza vaccination is primarily subject to:

– Persons over 60 years old;

– Persons suffering from chronic diseases;

– Persons who often suffer from acute respiratory viral diseases;

– Preschool children;

– Schoolchildren;

– Medical professionals;

– Workers in the service sector, transport, educational institutions;

– Military contingents.

Influenza vaccination is compatible with other vaccinations (in different parts of the body).

Contraindications for vaccination, mainly temporary:

– Presence of acute respiratory infections, acute respiratory viral infections, tonsillitis at the time of vaccination.

– Injuries to the hands.

– Purulent lesions of the skin of the mucous membranes, regardless of their location.

– Pregnancy (especially the first trimester).

Absolute contraindication is egg white intolerance.

For non-specific prophylaxis of influenza, medical immunobiological preparations are used that are approved for use and registered in the territory of the Russian Federation in accordance with the established procedure, in accordance with the instructions for their use.

Non-specific prophylaxis of influenza includes:

– emergency prevention, carried out at the beginning of an epidemiological outbreak, with the use of antiviral drugs with an immediate effect.

– seasonal prophylaxis, carried out in the pre-epidemic period, with the use of immunocorrective drugs in courses of different duration.

– sanitary and hygienic and recreational activities.

An individual approach to emergency prevention is aimed at protecting risk contingents exposed to an increased risk of infection, with a severe course, frequent complications and exacerbations of the existing pathology and a high risk of adverse outcomes (persons with immunodeficiencies, bronchopulmonary diseases, chronic somatic and infectious diseases, children under the age of 6 years old, elderly people).

At the collective level, it is advisable to ensure the protection of the most “vulnerable” contingents: in orphanages, boarding schools, individual educational, industrial, military teams with a high density of accommodation.

The population level of non-specific emergency prevention of influenza and acute respiratory diseases provides for the protection of large groups of the population, some of which contribute to the massive spread of infection among the population (for example, schoolchildren), others are at an increased risk of infection and also play an important role in the further dissemination of infections (health workers, workers of trade, public transport; persons living in ecologically unfavorable territories).

Non-specific seasonal prophylaxis of influenza is carried out in order to increase the resistance of the human body to respiratory viruses during the maximum probability of illness and in the pre-epidemic period.

Immunocorrective drugs are used in courses of various durations to correct the immune status in people at risk of influenza and acute respiratory diseases:

– Frequent and long-term ill,

– Chronic Diseases,

-With secondary immunodeficiencies.

– Living in ecologically unfavorable territories.

Sanitary-epidemic and recreational activities include:

– formation of a healthy lifestyle;

– hardening procedures;

– physical education;

– improvement of working and living conditions, etc.

For all issues of prevention and vaccination, at the first symptoms of malaise, it is mandatory to consult a doctor.

Doctor – pulmonologist Olga Bakhmanova

GBUZ TOKB im.V.R. Babenko “

07 November 2019

90,000 Flu Shot | Medical center “Healthy Generation”

Uncomplicated flu usually lasts up to 7 days, but the cough and weakness can persist after recovery, for up to 2–3 weeks. Quite often, in young children, the disease begins with food refusal, nausea and vomiting and can be confused with an intestinal infection. The first symptoms appear quickly, a few hours after infection, and later the disease develops very quickly.Swine flu cannot be distinguished from ordinary flu only by clinical manifestations, this requires laboratory tests. The main complaints of patients are rash, joint aches, photophobia, pain when moving the eyeballs, conjunctivitis and debilitating fever. Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea may occur.

When the listed signs of the disease appear, it is imperative to consult a doctor, and not self-medicate.

Patients diagnosed with influenza in severe, complicated, or progressive cases require hospitalization and therapy with effective anti-influenza drugs.These drugs include Oseltamivir and Zanamivir, they should be started in the first 48 hours of illness and continued for at least 5 days, the duration of treatment can be much longer if the clinical situation requires it.

All at-risk patients should take Oseltamivir or Zanamivir, even for moderate severity and outpatient treatment.

Taking the drugs Remantadin, Arbidol and others listed in this article cannot be recommended, since for some of these drugs no data has been obtained on their effectiveness and safety as therapeutic or prophylactic agents for the treatment of influenza, and the virus has already developed resistance to the other half …

Everything you need to know about proper throat treatment Sore throat is a symptom of many diseases. Often the reason lies in the action of acute tonsillitis or tonsillitis – streptococcus. Therefore, it is important to start treating the throat at the first sign of the disease … Read more in the articles on the site SlickJump® There are contraindications. Check with your doctor. Symptomatic treatment for influenza

Since the flu in people from the normal risk group and in vaccinated patients is mostly mild, outpatient symptomatic treatment is sufficient.

If you have symptoms of the flu, it is absolutely impossible to continue living in your usual rhythm. Firstly, the physical activity habitual for a healthy person becomes excessive with this disease and is dangerous to health, and secondly, a sick person can infect others, in whom this disease may not proceed in such a mild form and end fatally.

If you are sick, try to follow a home regimen and rest more, drink at least 2–2.5 liters of any liquid per day, if you have an appetite, then eat dietary foods that are easily digestible, if there is no appetite, that is not necessary, but try to the drinks contained glucose.Don’t forget about the benefits of chicken stock during this period.

Fever, headache, muscle pain, joint aches and weakness are usually severe within 3-5 days. Antipyretic drugs can be used to relieve these symptoms in children and adults:

Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. The use of aspirin in children with the flu can lead to dangerous complications.

If you are concerned about a sore throat, gargles and absorbable lozenges can be used, vasoconstrictor drops are effective for nasal congestion.

You can return to your usual way of life after the temperature has returned to normal.

If you have the slightest doubt about the stability of your condition or you belong to a high-risk group, be sure to call your doctor at home. You can start taking antiviral drugs only as directed by your doctor.

Antibiotics have no effect on the influenza virus and can only be used if bacterial complications are attached.

Results of the epidemiological season 2017/18 for influenza and acute respiratory viral infection.Features of etiotropic therapy | Selkova E.P., Grenkova T.A., Gudova N.V., Oganesyan A.S.

The article presents the results of the epidemiological season 2017/18. for influenza and acute respiratory viral infection. The features of etiotropic therapy of these diseases are highlighted.


Influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections (ARVI) account for more than 90% of all infectious diseases and remain one of the urgent medical and socio-economic problems of society due to the high incidence, risk of severe complications, exacerbations of chronic diseases and, as a result, mortality, especially in the elderly and children under 1 year of age.According to the WHO, during epidemic outbreaks of influenza, up to 15% of the population (from 3 million to 5 million people) falls ill, 250-500 thousand of them die. Influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections in the Russian Federation are approximately 20-40 million people a year, of which 40-60% are children. Annual epidemic rises of ARVI cause significant damage to the health of the population, the economy of the regions and the country [1]. The treatment of influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections, as well as their complications, takes up to 90% of the funds allocated for the treatment of all infectious diseases [1].
Among acute respiratory viral infections, influenza is of particular epidemiological and social importance, characterized by high rates of morbidity and mortality, as well as severe socio-economic consequences. A feature of the epidemic situation in recent years is the simultaneous circulation in the human population of several respiratory viruses: influenza A (h4N2 and h2N1) and B with a periodic predominance of one of them, adenoviruses, parainfluenza viruses and rhinoviruses, respiratory syncytial viruses, coronaviruses, etc.Influenza viruses have a unique genome variability that allows it to escape from the human immune system, which, in combination with the aerogenic transmission of the pathogen under conditions of close contact and high population migration, contributes to the rapid spread of infection. Features of the biology of the virus and the epidemiology of influenza lead to its widespread distribution among the population. Over the past 10 years, there has been a different intensity of the epidemic process of influenza – from seasonal epidemic rises to epidemics and pandemics.
Other ARVIs are more often caused by representatives of three families of RNA-containing viruses: paramyxoviruses (respiratory syncytial virus, human metapneumovirus, parainfluenza viruses of types 1-4), coronaviruses (229E, OC43, NL63, HKUI) and picornaviruses (rhinoviruses), as well as representatives of two families of DNA-containing viruses: adenoviruses (species B, C, E) and parvoviruses (human bocavirus) [2].

Epidemiological situation with influenza and ARVI in recent years

International monitoring of the spread of respiratory viruses made it possible to establish that the epidemic process of influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections has its own characteristics.The incidence is highly seasonal. The beginning and middle of autumn are characterized by an increase in the incidence of ARVI in most regions of the Russian Federation, which is associated with the return of the adult population from vacations, the beginning of the school year in schools and the formation of new teams in preschool educational institutions. The beginning of the circulation of influenza viruses in recent years falls on the end of autumn – the beginning of winter with a peak in January – February. In some epidemic seasons, the second peaks in the incidence of influenza were recorded, associated with a change in the dominant pathogen.It should be noted that the emergence of a new epidemic strain leads to the development of a pandemic at any time of the year, as it was in the summer of 2009
Flu epidemic season 2017/18 had a number of features. The unequal activity of influenza viruses across countries and continents was noted. In the United States and the United Kingdom, influenza A (h4N2) viruses have caused high incidences. In a number of European countries, influenza viruses B and A (h2N1) pdm09 were very active. In terms of antigenic properties, the drift of the influenza B virus of the B / Victoria-like line was noted.The discrepancy in the antigenic properties of the circulating and vaccine strains of the influenza B virus in certain territories was the reason for the insufficiently high efficiency of immunization carried out by the three-component vaccine. Severe forms of the course of the disease and cases with a fatal outcome were recorded mainly in unvaccinated elderly people. A good profile of the sensitivity of epidemic strains to drugs with neuraminidase activity was maintained.

In the European Region during the 2017/18 epidemic seasonthe increase in the incidence of influenza began at 50–51 weeks. 2017, reaching a peak in the 3-5th week. 2018 Diseases were caused by influenza viruses of both types – A and B, with a predominance of type B influenza viruses. The number of detected viruses of the B / Yamagata lineage was significantly higher than that of B / Victoria. Among influenza A viruses detected in respiratory surveillance centers, influenza A (h2N1) pdm09 viruses were higher than A (h4N2) viruses.
The results of the monitoring analysis showed that the epidemic season in the United States was characterized by a later onset, high intensity and wide geographical spread of the epidemic, mainly due to the influenza A (h4N2) virus.At the end of the epidemic, the influenza B virus took the dominant position, causing new epidemic rises in the incidence of low intensity in certain administrative territories.
In the Russian Federation during the period of the epidemic rise in the incidence of influenza and SARS in 2017/18. 10.4% of the total population fell ill. The epidemic rise began much later than in the previous epidemic season, and was characterized by an excess of weekly epidemic thresholds for the incidence of influenza and SARS almost simultaneously in 11 constituent entities of the Russian Federation.Analysis of the results of virological monitoring showed that the share of influenza viruses in the structure of all isolated respiratory viruses was 29.4%, while influenza B viruses accounted for 42.3%, A (h4N2) – 30.7%, A (h2N1) pdm09 – 27 %.
The peak of the epidemic fell on the 12th week. 2018, when the excess of the weekly epidemiological thresholds for the incidence of influenza and ARVI was noted in 29 constituent entities of the Russian Federation, in the central city – in 8 cities.
According to official statistics, the highest incidence rates of influenza and ARVI in the total population at the peak of the season were recorded in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug (207 per 10 thousand.), The Republic of Karelia (135.8), St. Petersburg (133), the Pskov region (128.64), the Vologda region (127), the Ulyanovsk region (123), the Perm region (114.2), the Murmansk region ( 109), Kaluga Oblast (101), Arkhangelsk Oblast (98), Novgorod Oblast (98), Jewish Autonomous Oblast (96.8), Novosibirsk Oblast (93), Tula Oblast (92.1), the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) ( 92). In these subjects, high incidence rates were recorded in all age groups of the population, but among children of early and school age they were higher than among the adult population.Another feature of the epidemic rise in the incidence of influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections is the higher incidence of the child population. Most often, epidemics of respiratory viral infections begin precisely with an increase in the incidence among children [3, 4].
The nature and severity of clinical manifestations of influenza varies from mild to extremely severe and depends on the type of pathogen and the immune system response (immune response) of the patient. The frequency of hospitalization of children with influenza depends on the age: the younger the child, the higher the risk of a severe course of the disease requiring treatment in an inpatient setting.A number of authors [5, 6] indicate that the rate of hospitalization (per 10 thousand hospitalized) in the group of children from 6 months. up to 2 years old is 10.4, among children from 2 to 4 years old – 5.7. At the same time, in the 5–17 age group, it dropped to 1.1.
According to official statistics, on the 12th week. epidemiological season 2017/18 27.6 thousand people were hospitalized with a diagnosis of influenza and ARVI, which is higher than at the peak of the previous epidemic in 2016/17. (23.9 thousand). At the same time, the total number of hospitalized with diagnoses of influenza and ARVI for the entire period of the epidemic was less.
The average duration of an influenza epidemic in the country in the past epidemic season was 12 weeks. (in the previous – 17 weeks). The duration of the epidemic rise in most subjects was 4–6 weeks. and only in certain regions (the republics of Karelia, Sakha (Yakutia), the Murmansk region, the Nenets Autonomous Okrug) it lasted from 8 to 12 weeks.

Prevention and treatment of influenza and ARVI

The ability of influenza viruses to spread rapidly among the population, to travel long distances in a short time and simultaneously infect large groups of people, the severity of clinical manifestations and the frequent occurrence of secondary complications make it difficult to carry out effective preventive and therapeutic measures.
It has been proven that influenza vaccines based on vaccine strains relevant for this epidemic season can protect up to 80% of healthy children and adults from the disease, as well as reduce the risk of complications among sick vaccinated children and elderly people. In the event of a new pandemic strain, at least 6 months are required to produce a sufficient amount of vaccines. During this period, to protect the population, antiviral, immunomodulatory and immunocorrective agents are used, which have a high profile of proven efficacy.
In the epidemic season 2017/18. the proportion of those vaccinated in Russia was 46.6% of the total population of the country (66.5 million people were vaccinated against influenza). The main vector of immunization was aimed at groups at increased risk of influenza. In the country as a whole, 85% of employees of educational institutions and persons subject to military service, 89% of medical workers were vaccinated. However, among students and people over 60 years old, this indicator was only 70% and 63%, respectively.
According to the WHO recommendations, for the epidemic season of influenza 2018/19. in the countries of the northern hemisphere, strains of influenza viruses A / Michigan / 45/2015 (h2N1) pdm09, A / Singapore / INFIMH-16-0019 / 2016 (h4N2), B / Colorado / 06/2017 (line B / Victoria / 2/87).
For the production of quadrivalent vaccines containing two influenza B viruses, it was recommended that a virus strain similar to B / Phuket / 3073/2013 (line B / Yamagata / 16/88) be included.
Currently, according to the official data of the WHO and CDC, for 39 weeks.the activity of influenza viruses in the countries of the European Region, the USA and Canada is at the interepidemic level. In India, local outbreaks of influenza have been reported, mainly caused by the A (h2N1) pdm09 virus. In the Russian Federation, the incidence of respiratory viral infections is currently mainly due to viruses of non-influenza etiology (parainfluenza viruses, adenoviruses, respiratory syncytial viruses, other viruses of non-influenza etiology), and isolated findings of influenza viruses are recorded.

Drug therapy for influenza and ARVI

In accordance with the WHO guidelines for the treatment and prevention of influenza [7] and similar Russian documents [8, 9], the intake of antiviral drugs for influenza viruses or other acute respiratory viral infections should begin as early as possible, immediately after the onset of flu-like symptoms, one should not wait for laboratory results. confirmation of the etiology of the disease [9, 10]. Influenza can present with a range of symptoms, from a mild upper respiratory infection to an acute, life-threatening condition.Knowledge of the main symptoms of diseases caused by various respiratory viruses is essential for a doctor. This is due to the fact that modern principles of ARVI treatment, in addition to symptomatic agents, include a wide range of etiotropic drugs, many of which have a selective effect on specific viruses, which must be taken into account when prescribing them [11].
Modern approaches to the treatment of ARVI, including influenza, include the use of both medication and non-medication methods (regimen, hygiene, diet, sanitation of the upper respiratory tract, physiotherapy).The main objectives of the treatment of these infections are suppression of viral replication in the early stages of the disease, relief of clinical manifestations of viral infection, prevention and treatment of complications.
In recent years, in the treatment of acute respiratory viral infections and influenza, preference has been given to drugs that have several points of application and have a combined effect, which combine direct antiviral, immunomodulatory and symptomatic effects. In situations with an unspecified pathogen and the absence of laboratory-confirmed mixed viral infection, therapy with broad-spectrum antiviral drugs should be initiated.
The use of complex drugs that have an effect not only on the proteins and key structures of the virus, but also on the cellular and humoral immune mechanisms of antiviral defense, makes it possible to effectively treat a wide range of respiratory viral infections, including influenza [12].
Of great importance in the treatment of ARVI and influenza are
drugs that can affect both the causative agent of infection (specified or unspecified) and the manifestations of intoxication-inflammatory syndrome (fever, chills, pain, edema, catarrhal phenomena) [13].One of the broad-spectrum agents for non-specific protection against influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections is Nobazit ® (enisamia iodide). Its action is based on the direct inhibition of the process of penetration of viruses through the cell membrane. The drug has interferonogenic properties, increases the concentration of endogenous interferon (alpha and gamma interferons) in the blood plasma by 3-4 times, increases the level of lysozyme, increases the body’s resistance to viral infections, reduces the clinical manifestations of viral intoxication, helps to reduce the duration of the disease, carries out anti-inflammatory, antipyretic and analgesic action.The virostatic effect of the main active ingredient enisamia iodide is associated with its effect on the structure and receptor-binding functions of hemagglutinin of the influenza pathogen type A, which provide the virion with the ability to attach to the target cell with subsequent replication [14, 15]. The inclusion of the drug Nobazit ® in the complex therapy of influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections promotes the elimination of the virus, a decrease in intoxication symptoms, a decrease in the duration of the course of the disease and an increase in the general resistance of the organism [16].
The complex action of Nobazit, including anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory, has been proven in a number of clinical studies. It was shown that after using this drug for the next 2.5 months. the optimal concentration of endogenous interferons remains, which increases the body’s resistance to viral infections of other etiology [16]. Important results of studying the antiviral activity of enisamium iodide in the complex therapy of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections were obtained in the United States: the drug reduces the level of replication of influenza viruses, incl.including h2N1, reduces the period of virus isolation [16].
The inclusion of Nobazit (enisamia iodide) in ARVI therapy (including influenza) helped to reduce the severity and duration of the main symptoms of the disease: intoxication, fever, catarrhal symptoms, which helps to reduce the need for symptomatic drugs [17].


Influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections are still one of the pressing medical and socio-economic problems, the solution of which is possible only at the state level.
Vaccination against influenza of groups at high risk of infection has been included in the National Calendar of Preventive Vaccinations; work is underway to prepare for widespread use of a new generation of influenza vaccine capable of leveling the problem of the variability of the influenza virus; a quadrivalent vaccine has been created.
The development and introduction into clinical practice of new etiotropic drugs that can quickly cure a patient from influenza and prevent the development of complications, which are the main cause of mortality in the unvaccinated population, are constantly being developed and introduced into clinical practice.
Among antiviral drugs that have a specific effect on specific proteins and key structures of the virus, preference is given to drugs that additionally affect the cellular and humoral immune mechanisms of antiviral defense.
One of the means for the treatment of influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections is Nobazit ® – a broad-spectrum drug that has antiviral action against respiratory viruses (inhibits the process of viral penetration through the cell membrane), interferonogenic properties (increases the concentration of alpha and gamma-
interferons in blood plasma 3-4 times).
The inclusion of Nobazit ® in the complex therapy of influenza and other acute respiratory viral infections contributes to the rapid elimination of the virus, a decrease in intoxication symptoms, a reduction in the duration of the course of the disease and an increase in the general resistance of the organism.


Amantadine and rimantadine for the prevention and treatment of influenza A in children and the elderly

Review Question

As recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is currently used in people with influenza A.In previous pandemics, the virus was susceptible to amantadine and rimantadine. If they are safe and the circulating strains are found to be sensitive to these drugs, they could be an alternative to managing the flu. In this regard, we wanted to answer the question whether (or not) amantadine and rimantadine can prevent or cure influenza A in children and the elderly.


Influenza is a respiratory (respiratory) infection that causes cough, runny nose, and fever.Most symptoms go away without treatment within three to seven days. However, hospitalization, pneumonia and even death are rare complications of the disease, especially among children and the elderly. Pandemics are also cause for concern.

Key results and quality of evidence

We identified 12 trials (2494 participants: 1586 children and 908 seniors). We looked at trials that compared amantadine or rimantadine with no intervention, placebo, or drug control in children and the elderly.The most recent searches were completed in October 2014. We looked at several outcomes including influenza A, duration of fever, cough, headache, nausea / vomiting, dizziness, and agitation / insomnia.

Although amantadine was effective in preventing influenza A in children, it would need to be used in 17 children over a period of 14 to 18 weeks to prevent one case of influenza A.