If you develop flu symptoms this flu season, you might make an immediate doctor’s appointment with the hopes of acquiring antibiotics. However, the flu is a viral infection. And because antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, this medication is ineffective against the flu virus. In this case, your best bet is to treat the flu virus at home with OTC medications.
However, if you develop a secondary infection, such as an ear infection, sinus infection or bronchitis, your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic for these conditions. Upon your visit to the office, your doctor will likely complete a physical examination to see if you have a secondary infection.
As far as your actual flu symptoms, rest and plenty of fluids are your best defense – in addition to flu medications. This can strengthen your immune system and reduce the duration of your influenza infection. If flu symptoms do not improve after two weeks, or worsens, see a doctor.
The flu isn’t a harmless virus and approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized each year due to flu-related complications. To protect yourself, visit a health clinic or pharmacy each year and request a flu vaccine.