Unlike some other infections, when the flu is uncomplicated, it doesn't usually require medical treatment.
Occasionally, doctors prescribe an antiviral medicine if symptoms are reported within 48 hours of onset. But these usually are used only when a child is at risk for serious complications, and they typically shorten the course of the infection by just 1 or 2 days.
If your doctor recommends a prescription medicine to ease symptoms, be sure to call before you go to the pharmacy. Because the flu can strongly affect many areas of the United States, some pharmacies might have difficulty keeping certain medicines in stock.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
Date reviewed: January 2013
|Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The mission of the CDC is to promote health and quality of life by preventing and controlling disease, injury, and disability. Call: (800) CDC-INFO|
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|Influenza Website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) The CDC's site has up-to-date information on flu outbreaks, immunizations, symptoms, prevention, and more.|
|Flu Instruction Sheet Sometimes mistaken for the common cold, the flu (influenza) causes more symptoms and can sometimes cause serious illness. Fortunately, most kids who get the flu can get over the infection without any problems.|
|Flu Center The flu can make you sick for a week or more. Find out how to get protected from the influenza virus.|
|Is It a Cold or the Flu? Your child is sent home from school with a sore throat, cough, and high fever - could it be the flu that's been going around? Or is it just a common cold? Find out here!|
|Flu Facts Every year from October to May, millions of people across the United States come down with the flu. Get the facts on the flu - including how to avoid it.|
|The Flu: Should You Go to School? Stay home or go to school? That's what you are probably wondering if you have the flu. Find out more.|
|Flu Center Get the basics on how flu spreads and how to protect yourself.|
|Flu Center Learn all about protecting your family from the flu and what to do if your child gets flu-like symptoms.|
|Influenza (Flu) Flu symptoms tend to develop quickly and are usually more severe than the typical sneezing and stuffiness of a cold. Yearly vaccination is the best protection against the flu.|
|Is the Flu Vaccine a Good Idea for Your Family? The flu itself generally isn't dangerous, but its complications can be. That's why it's important for you and your doctor to determine whether your family can and should get the flu vaccine.|
|The Flu: Stop the Spread Follow these tips to help prevent the spread of the flu.|
|Flu The flu is a virus that can make you sick for a week or longer. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|5 Ways to Fight the Flu Get tips for fending off the flu in this article for teens.|
|Too Late for a Flu Shot? The flu vaccine is usually offered between September and mid-November. Even though it's ideal to get vaccinated early, the flu shot can still be helpful later.|
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