In most cases influenza is a benign illness but for elderly people, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases, the complications of flu can be dangerous. Vaccination remains the best way of preventing the complications of flu and hospitalisation.

Spontaneous recovery

Most of the time a week in bed and plenty of water are enough to cure the flu.

DID YOU KNOW? Antibiotics have no effect in the treatment of influenza: they fight against bacteria but influenza is caused by a virus.

Treating the symptoms

Generally recovery from influenza takes place naturally and antibiotics are of no help.

However, certain medications can relieve certain symptoms: muscular pain, headaches, sore throat etc.

Antiviral agents

Treatment with antiviral agents is mostly reserved for people at risk and serious cases of influenza.

These medications block the protein which allows the virus to multiply in the body.

They are prescribed with great caution to avoid the development of resistance by the viruses.

Sciensano coordinates a network of general practitioners and hospitals to ensure the permanent surveillance of influenza activity, of the intensity and severity of epidemics and the impact on the population. Sciensano is also the National Reference Centre (NRC) for influenza virus. The Belgian Official Medicines Control Laboratory (OMCL) of Sciensano, together with the European OMCL network, is responsible for the quality control of the influenza vaccine prior to marketing.

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