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March 20, 2023

Importance of Influenza Prevention & Treatment Options

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About the Influenza?

Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is a viral infection that affects the nose, throat and lungs. Flu can spread by droplets in the air from an infected person who sneezes or simply speaks. It may also be contracted by coming into contact with droplets on a surface or an object that then make contact if you touch your mouth, nose or eyes. It is important to note that the “stomach flu” and the flu are not the same thing. The stomach flu affects the intestines while influenza affects the respiratory system. 


Sometimes the flu is mistaken for a common cold.  They are not the same. Although the symptoms may be similar, such as a stuffy nose and sore throat, the flu symptoms are more severe and can result in serious health problems such as pneumonia and other bacterial infections.


Flu Symptoms 

Flu Symptoms:

  • Fever 

  • Aches 

  • Chills 

  • Fatigue, weakness 

  • Chest discomfort and cough 

  • Headaches 

  • Sneezing (sometimes) 

  • Stuffy nose (sometimes) 

  • Sore throat (sometimes)

Flu infection rates are approximately 20-30 % higher among children than adults, annually.  Flu illness can be much more serious for a young child or infant than for most adults, except the elderly and immune compromised. The best way to prevent getting the flu is by getting vaccinated. Annual flu vaccines are available to anyone six months and older.

Each year the flu vaccine is updated to protect against the different subtypes of influenza viruses that circulate from year to year. Getting boosted every year lowers the risk of contracting the flu and lowers the risk of developing severe symptoms. Parents and caregivers can discuss obtaining the flu vaccine during their child’s well-child visit or may request the vaccine by contacting their pediatrician's office. 


If your child does contract the flu, there are antiviral medications that are effective at shortening the duration and severity of symptoms. You should not be reluctant to contact your doctor to get a prescription for an antiviral within the first 24-48 hours of illness, in order for it to be effective.  Antiviral treatments are almost always recommended for people who are hospitalized or are at higher risk of flu complications. Risk factors include asthma, diabetes and heart disease. For a longer list of health and age factors please refer to this page



The following is a list of flu antiviral drugs approved in the United States by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in children: 


  • Oseltamivir ( trade name Tamiflu®) is approved for treatment for ages 14 days and older. It is an oral medication that comes in liquid and pill form and is the most commonly prescribed. 

  • Baloxavir (trade name Xofluza®) is approved for early treatment of flu as a single oral dose for children over 5 years of age who don’t have any chronic medical conditions.

  • Zanamivir (trade name Relenza®) is approved for treatment for ages 7 years and older. This medication may be inhaled via a special inhaler (Diskhaler®). It is not recommended for use in children with asthma or other chronic lung diseases.

  • Peramivir (trade name Rapivab®) is given intravenously for those seriously ill, ages 6 months and older.


Please contact your child’s health care provider within 24-48 hours to determine whether your child should take antiviral drugs if they become sick with the flu. For more information about flu antiviral medications please visit the following CDC page

Additional Information and Sources 







Missed our earlier content? No worries. You can find them below.

Siblings in the forest
Kid Getting Vaccinated
Personal Hygiene

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