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2009-10 Influenza (Flu) Season


Oseltamivir (trade name Tamiflu®) or zanamivir (trade name Relenza®) are recommended for treatment and prevention of flu during the 2009-10 season.

CDC has issued updated interim recommendations for the use of antivirals in the treatment and prevention of influenza for the 2009-10 season. This guidance is available at

What should I do if I get sick with the flu this flu season, including the 2009 H1N1?

Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu, including the new H1N1 flu, by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body. The priority use for antiviral drugs this season is to treat people who are very sick (hospitalized) or people who are sick with flu-like symptoms and who are at increased risk of serious flu complications, such as pregnant women, young children, people 65 and older and people with chronic health conditions. Antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started within the first 2 days of symptoms.

If you become ill with influenza-like symptoms this flu season you should stay home and avoid contact with other people, except to seek medical care. If you have severe illness or you are at higher risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seek medical care. Medical conditions that can place you at higher risk of serious flu-related complications if you become ill include asthma or other lung problems, diabetes, weakened immune systems, kidney disease, heart disease, neurological and neuromuscular disorders and pregnancy.

While few people over the age of 65 have been infected with this new virus, if you are older than 65 and become ill, you are at higher risk of developing flu-related complications. Children younger than 5 years of age (and especially children younger than 2 years of age) are also at high risk of serious complications if they get the flu.

If you have one of these medical conditions or are 65 or older or younger than 5 (and especially children younger than 2 years of age) and develop flu-like symptoms including fever or chills and cough or sore throat, contact your health care provider so they may determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed.

For information about 2009 H1N1 flu, visit


WebMD Public Information from the CDC

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