Treatment

Flu-can-be-anywhere

Phone Healthline (0800 611 116) or your doctor if you are concerned or if you:

  • feel a lot worse, or you are not getting better after a few days
  • have an existing health condition or are in a high risk group (see Symptoms)
  • are pregnant
  • are taking any medication that affects the immune system
  • are looking after someone with influenza and you are in a high risk group


Your doctor may recommend antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu or Relenza. These medications are most effective when started within the first two days of influenza symptoms, although it is still worth talking to your doctor even if you have been unwell for more than two days. Take them as directed.


Caring for yourself and others

If you are unwell, stay at home and rest in a separate, well ventilated room away from other people.

It is important to drink small amounts of fluids often.

Carefully read and follow the labels on any medication and contact your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions


You can also:

  • reduce fever by using a damp cloth on your forehead, washing the arms and body with a cool cloth, bathing in slightly warm water
  • take appropriate medicines to relieve discomfort and fever if necessary. It is especially important to reduce fever if you are pregnant.
  • gargle a glass of warm water and/or suck sugarless hard sweets or lozenges to help with sore throats
  • shower or bathe regularly and keep bedding and nightwear clean and dry
  • use skin balm or moisturiser to stop your lips from cracking.

Know the danger signs that mean you should seek urgent medical attention (see Symptoms).

 

Any child younger than 3 months who has a fever should see a  doctor.


Caring for babies and children


When a baby or child has influenza, it is important to do the following:

  • keep the child at home resting until they are well.
  • care for the child in a separate, well-ventilated room away from other people.
  • increase the frequency of breastfeeding or the amount of other fluids they drink. If your child will not take fluids or is drowsy, don't force them. Seek medical advice immediately.
  • reduce fever by using a damp cloth on your forehead, washing the arms and body with a cool cloth, bathing in slightly warm water.
  • give paracetamol or ibuprofen if they have pain or discomfort in the dose recommended on the package (unless your doctor says otherwise). Aspirin should not be given to children under 14 years of age.

Saltwater drops (saline) can be used to treat a stuffy nose.

 

Find out more from the Ministry

Last updated: August 14, 2015