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Home / Influenza

Influenza (flu) Symptoms and Causes

Information about the causes and symptoms of flu

Influenza, known more commonly as 'the flu', is a contagious viral infection that affects thousands of people in the United Kingdom every year. These infections can be mild or severe in nature and can sometimes lead to serious complications depending on the sufferer's age and health. Treatment can be used to relieve coughing and sneezing, as well more severe symptoms such as aches, pains and fatigue, which slow you down and are hard to shake off. Influenza treatment is used to both prevent the spread of infection and reduce symptoms by 1-2 days.

You can order Tamiflu online from 121doc with convenience, receiving the medication within just 24 hours to help get you back on your feet quicker. We offer a free online consultation with a doctor, so that you know you are choosing the right medication for your condition.

Dr. Sarah Donald
Dr. Sarah Donald Clinical Lead

Available Treatment(s)

Pack of 10 Tamiflu 75mg Oseltamivir hard capsules
Tamiflu 4.5(8 Reviews)
  • Treats strains of the influenza virus in adults and children
  • Deteriorates effects of flu in a matter of days
  • Preventative measure to avoid onset of flu virus
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How is influenza passed on?

It is a highly contagious virus that spreads from one person to another via sneezing, coughing, and through physical contact. The virus infects cells in the upper and lower respiratory tract and tends to be more common during the winter and early spring. Once the virus has entered the respiratory tract, it spreads rapidly from one cell to the next.

What are the general symptoms of flu?

The symptoms of the common cold and influenza can be similar; however flu symptoms develop more gradually. It's important to use a treatment as soon as possible to improve your recovery time and reduce the risks of the infection from becoming serious.

Influenza treatment is used to treat the following symptoms:

  • Fever around 38°C to 40°C
  • Coughing, sneezing and runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Aches and pains in muscles and joints, especially the wrists and neck
  • Sleeplessness or restless sleep

How many different types of influenza are there?

Type A has the most acute symptoms. There tend to be large scale outbreaks around every 3 years. Previous pandemics include swine and avian flu, for which immediate influenza treatment is essential.

Type B sometimes shows similar symptoms to Type A, however its effects are not as severe.

Type C, one the mildest forms of flu, and has similar symptoms to a mild winter cold. It usually doesn't require any immediate treatment.

Who is at risk of being infected?

Influenza tends to spread quicker in areas where people live in close proximity. If you live in a densely populated area, it is advisable to take precautions by using medication to reduce your chances of contracting the virus. Older people above 60, children and people with a weakened immune system are most at risk of developing complications such as pneumonia if they catch it.

Can antibiotics be used as an effective influenza treatment?

This is a viral infection and cannot be treated with antibiotics. Anti-viral treatment is available on prescription, which works to reduce the spread of the virus.

Prescription influenza treatments

Tamiflu can be taken up to 2 days after initial symptoms appear, reducing their duration by several days. This oral medication can also reduce the risk of complications such as pneumonia. Tamiflu can be taken by people aged 1 and above.

Can I order an influenza treatment online?

Ordering treatment online can benefit you if you are suffering from flu symptoms and are unable to visit your local GP for a prescription. It is also a convenient way to protect your body against the infection if someone close to you has caught the virus. our doctor can write a prescription for Tamiflu once you have completed a short online consultation; this forms part of the purchasing process and is free of charge and takes just a few minutes to fill in.

Swine flu is viral infection caused by the H1N1 strain of the flu virus. It is so named because this particular influenza virus carries certain structural similarities to a flu virus that affects pigs. Humans can in no way become infected by the virus by having contact with pigs or eating pork, the virus is purely transferred from one human to another.

Swine flu symptoms

It can be quite difficult to distinguish between seasonal flu and swine flu symptoms (H1N1). As swine flu also produces symptoms that are quite similar to regular flu such as:

  • fever
  • runny nose
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue

Only a medical professional or a local health authority can confirm a case of H1N1 flu after assessing the swine flu symptoms following a consultation. Pregnant women, people with chronic diseases that affect the kidneys, heart, liver and nervous system, people with diabetes, HIV and people over 65 and under 5 years of age and are vulnerable to this H1N1 flu virus infection. The World Health Organisation, however, recommends that everyone take precautions to prevent the spread of infection.

Swine flu treatment

Treatment and prevention of the H1N1 virus is carried out in 2 ways:

  • One is through preventive means such as vaccination; this works best before a person has contracted the virus
  • The second is through medications that treat the symptoms and reduce the lifespan of the virus; this treatment becomes imperative after a person is

already found to be infected

Preventive swine flu treatment works best before you have become infected with the virus. This is best achieved by avoiding close contact with people who show influenza-like symptoms, in addition to strictly adhering to the measures mentioned below:

  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose; germs can easily spread this way
  • Clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis; especially if you tend to touch your mouth and nose regularly, or surfaces that are potentially contaminated
  • Reduce the time spent in crowded settings if possible; in crowds chances of infection are greatly enhanced
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; throw the tissue in the trash after use
  • Stay home from work or school if sick; this will help curtail the infection from spreading
  • Improve airflow within your living surroundings by opening windows
  • Get adequate sleep, eat nutritious food and keep physically active

Swine flu treatment in infected people involves the use of antiviral medicines like Tamiflu that can either be used as preventive swine flu treatment or as a treatment after a person has been infected. At present, swine flu treatment does not involve the use of vaccines as particular H1N1 vaccine become available for general use yet. Apart from medication, it is best to prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.

If you find that you are experiencing swine flu symptoms such as unusual tiredness, headache, runny nose, sore throat, shortness of breath or cough, loss of, appetite, aching muscles, diarrhea or vomiting it is advised that you get in contact with a doctor immediately. It can be difficult to tell the difference between seasonal flu and swine flu symptoms (H1N1) without the help of a doctor, so before considering any kind of treatment is best to get the opinion of a professional.

Swine flu UK

Swine flu UK is past the containment stage and now in the treatment stage. The Health Ministry launched a campaign through the media creating awareness called "Catch it, Bin it, and Kill it!" so that the H1N1 virus can be successfully contained and treated. People with and without the virus have been urged to use tissues when they sneeze, dispose of them and then wash their hands. Leaflets advising people about the new H1N1 virus are to be sent to every home in UK. The British government stresses it has enough anti-viral drugs to treat swine flu UK in more than half the population if required.

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