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Question: Treatment for seasonal influenza

Answer: Patients with uncomplicated seasonal influenza:
Patients that are not from a high risk group should be managed with symptomatic treatment and are advised, if symptomatic, to stay home in order to minimize the risk of infecting others in the community. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms of influenza such as fever. Patients should monitor themselves to detect if their condition deteriorates and seek medical attention Patients that are known to be in a group at high risk for developing severe or complicated illness, (see above) should be treated with antivirals in addition to symptomatic treatment as soon as possible.

Patients with severe or progressive clinical illness associated with suspected or confirmed influenza virus infection (i.e. clinical syndromes of pneumonia, sepsis or exacerbation of chronic underling diseases) should be treated with antiviral drug as soon as possible.

Neuraminidase inhibitors (i.e. oseltamivir) should be prescribed as soon as possible (ideally, within 48 hours following symptom onset) to maximize therapeutic benefits. Administration of the drug should also be considered in patients presenting later in the course of illness.
Treatment is recommended for a minimum of 5 days, but can be extended until there is satisfactory clinical improvement.
Corticosteroids should not be used routinely,, unless indicated for other reasons (eg: asthma and other specific conditions); as it has been associated with prolonged viral clearance, immunosuppression leading to bacterial or fungal superinfection.
All currently circulating influenza viruses are resistant to adamantane antiviral drugs (such as amantadine and rimantadine), and these are therefore not recommended for monotherapy.
WHO GISRS monitors resistance to antivirals among circulating influenza viruses to provide timely guidance for antiviral use in clinical management and potential chemoprophylaxis.

(Source: World Health Organization (WHO), 20 Feb 2020)

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