Influenza, swine flu and human parainfluenza viruses are usually not severe enough to cause major problems for healthy adults. Most people recover within one to two weeks with minimal treatment.
Your physician may recommend the following for symptom relief:
- Plenty of rest and fluids, especially water
- Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever, headaches and body aches
- Corticosteroids or epinephrine for throat inflammation
- Antiviral medications such as Tamiflu for seasonal flu and swine flu (but not human parainfluenza viruses) to minimize symptoms and length of illness
Flu viruses can become life threatening for infants, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. In those cases, people who have flu symptoms should see their physician. You may need treatment if your symptoms worsen, especially if you have serious lung complications.