Treatments for Flu (Influenza) and H1N1 in Children

Most people recover from influenza within a week, but may be left feeling exhausted for as long as three to four weeks. Consult your physician in the event of more serious complications.

Signs you need to take your child to the hospital immediately

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

What do I do if I or my child has H1N1?

If you live in areas where people have been identified with novel H1N1 flu and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people.

  • CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Stay away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.
  • Staying at home means that you should not leave your home except to seek medical care.
  • Avoiding normal activities, including work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.

If you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seek medical care. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed.

CDC recommends the use of oseltamivir or zanamivir for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with the flu virus.

  • Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaled powder) that fight against the flu by keeping flu viruses from reproducing in your body.
  • If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster.
  • They may also prevent serious flu complications.
  • During the current pandemic, the priority use for influenza antiviral drugs is to treat severe influenza illness (for example hospitalized patients) and people who are sick who have a condition that places them at high risk for serious flu-related complications.
  • In Nov. 2006, the Food and Drug Administration has warned that people who take oseltamivir should watch out for erratic behavior as a possible side effect.

Aside from antiviral medications your doctor may prescribe, it is important to get plenty of bed rest and stay hydrated.