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Can Influenza be Prevented and Are There Treatment Options?


To decrease the risk of becoming infected with influenza or other viruses, it is important to avoid contact with people who are ill. Frequently washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rubs helps to reduce the risk of infection. Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue and properly disposing of it, and keeping surfaces at home, work and school clean can also help to prevent spread of influenza and other types of infections.1

Eating a well-balanced diet, reducing stress, staying properly hydrated and getting enough sleep, Vitamin D and exercise can help reduce the risk of becoming sick. 2 3

When you are sick, it is important to stay away from others until you are well. The CDC recommends staying home for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone (without the use of medications to reduce fever) except for medical services or other necessary outings.4

Treatments for influenza may include options such as natural home remedies or physician prescribed medications.5 6 7 NVIC encourages all consumers to carefully research the potential risks and benefit of any treatment option being considered in order to make educated decisions.

IMPORTANT NOTE:NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Influenza and the Influenza vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents, which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Personal NPIs: Everyday Preventive Actions. In: Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs). Aug. 26, 2019.

2 Barrett B, Hayney MS, Muller D, Rakel D, Brown R, Zgierska AE, Barlow S, Hayer S, Barnet JH, Torres ER, Coe CL. et al. Meditation or exercise for preventing acute respiratory infection (MEPARI-2): A randomized controlled trial. PLoS One June 22, 2018;13(6):e0197778.

3 Urashima M, Segawa T et al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren Am J Clin Nutr  May 2010; 91(5):1255-1260.

4 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At Home Flu Prevention. In: Nonpharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs). Aug. 26, 2019.

5 DerSarkissian C. 12 Natural Treatment Tips for Colds and Flu. WebMd July 28, 2021.

6 Malerba L. Homeopathy: A Time-Tested Treatment for the Flu. The Huffington Post May 25, 2011.

7 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What You Should Know About Flu Antiviral Drugs. In: Influenza (Flu). Aug. 31, 2021.

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