Suffer through the Flu -- No Meds -- So Your Loved Ones Don't Get It?

Great. Just what we needed to know.  Fever-reducing meds for the flu may actually spread it. 

"New research from McMaster University has discovered that the widespread use of medications that contain fever-reducing drugs may lead to tens of thousands more influenza cases, and more than a thousand deaths attributable to influenza, each year across North America," according to newswise.com.  And guess what?  The drugs they're talking about include ibuprofen, acetaminophen and acetylsalicylic acid.

“When they have flu, people often take medication that reduces their fever. No one likes to feel miserable, but it turns out that our comfort might be at the cost of infecting others,” the Web site quotes lead author David Earn, an investigator.

He explains that,because fever can actually help lower the amount of virus in a sick person's body and reduce the chance of transmitting disease to others, "taking drugs that reduce fever can increase transmission. We’ve discovered that this increase has significant effects when we scale up to the level of the whole population.”

He adds that people often take -- or give their kids -- fever-reducing drugs so they can go to work or school. “They may think the risk of infecting others is lower because the fever is lower. In fact, the opposite may be true: the ill people may give off more virus because fever has been reduced.”

Great.  So should we continue to endure our sore throats, chills, sweats, stuffy noses, aches, even nausea, all to make sure our partners, kids and friends don't get it?  Nah.




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