The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: flu  (Read 2177 times)

Offline ukmicky

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3011
    • View Profile
« on: 11/01/2006 21:52:18 »
why are doctors reluctant to give you any medecine when you catch the flu but will hand out jabs to prevent people from catching it

Michael                 HAPPY NEW YEAR                    


Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Re: flu
« Reply #1 on: 11/01/2006 22:04:20 »
I think it's because when you've got it, they can't cure it...just recommend some drugs to alleviate the symptoms....but having a jab will protect you from catching the prevalent strain that they suspect will be coming our way.

Men are the same as women.... just inside out !!

Offline rosy

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1018
  • Chemistry
    • View Profile
Re: flu
« Reply #2 on: 11/01/2006 22:12:30 »
Er, different medecine. They'll inject *against* flu, a vaccine which decreases the risk/severity of an attack by priming the immune system to deal with this season's flu bugs, but the "medecine" that doctors won't hand out to prevent flu is antibiotics, which work against bacterial infections (depending on the bacteria and the antibiotic) but not against viral infections like flu. If prescription of antibiotics isn't going to do any good (as in an uncomplicated attack of flu) then any doctor prescribing antibiotics would be (i) increasing the likelihood of the developement of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and (ii) laying their patient open to an unnecessary risk of side effects.
Clearly, if a bout of influenza is accompanied by a bacterial infection then that's different.

Then there's tamiflu, which as I understand it is a general antiviral against influenza infections and works as a prophylactic decreasing infection risk whilst it remains in the body and also reduces the severity of an infection. BUT it seems it's about our only defence against bird flu at the moment, and flu strains are already developing a resistance, so it should be very much a drug of absolute last resort. If there is a pandemic of really virulent avian flu, as seems increasingly likely, we can't afford to have squandered it as we have many of our antibiotic drugs.

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: flu
« Reply #2 on: 11/01/2006 22:12:30 »


SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums