Story by: Rebecca Hall on February 8, 2019
It’s hard to watch a child or spouse suffer through flu symptoms like fever, aches, chills and headache. While you may be happy to bring your loved one soup or pick up the tissues, you may also be wondering how you’re going to stay well surrounded by all those germs.
Maybe he or she is on Tamiflu, an antiviral medication, to treat the flu. Should you be taking medicine to prevent catching the flu — or to get an early start on fighting it off — since you’re likely to be exposed to the flu while your loved one is sick?
Not necessarily, according to Rachel Alexander, APRN, nurse practitioner with Norton eCare.
Norton Healthcare primary care physicians and advanced practice providers offer flu care throughout Louisville and Southern Indiana.
“In general, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend taking an antiviral like Tamiflu for seasonal or pre-exposure prevention,” Rachel said. “However, antiviral medications can be considered to prevent the flu in certain situations.”
According to Rachel, a health care provider may consider prescribing an antiviral medication if a person is exposed to someone with the flu and:
“Patients who do receive an antiviral medication in those situations should seek medical attention as soon as they develop a respiratory illness that could be the flu,” Rachel said.
If you’re not at high risk for developing complications from the flu, how do you stay well when caring for someone with the flu? Rachel has some recommendations.
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