The Flu in Mexico: more than 9,000 cases just in 2023
Are you looking for the best influenza treatment? Our primary care physician, Dr. Itzel Aguayo, gives us valuable information to treat this disease.
According to data from Mexico’s National Epidemiology Department, the current 2022-2023 influenza season is the most severe in the last five years. This is because more than 9,000 cases of the flu, or influenza, have been confirmed in Mexico this season. Of these cases, 90% are due to type-A influenza, H3N2 variant. On the other hand, 4% are type-A influenza, 3.7% are type-B influenza, and 2.3% are AH1N1. In addition, the most affected population groups are people between 20 and 29 years of age, individuals over 65 years of age, and children under 1 year old. Likewise, 57% of the population affected by influenza are women.
Our expert, Dr. Aguayo, reminds us that influenza (the flu) is not just a common cold. Unfortunately, it is a serious disease that without proper treatment can become more complicated. “Many times patients think that in a few days, their symptoms will disappear. However, this is very unlikely. Thus, it is important to explain to them that a proper influenza treatment must be administered, so that the disease does not become a more serious condition, such as pneumonia.” Keep reading to learn more about the influenza treatments that our experts recommend to their patients here.
What Are the Best Treatments for the Flu?
According to our doctors, influenza treatments should focus on prioritizing rest and making sure that you have the proper fluid intake. Also, in case of a serious infection or high risk of complications, our doctors may prescribe an antiviral medication.
It is important to mention that if a flu case is suspected or confirmed, medications containing acetylsalicylic acid, such as aspirin, should be avoided at all costs due to the possibility of developing Reye’s syndrome (brain damage).
Dra. Itzel Aguayo
It is also important to mention that the right influenza treatment will largely depend on the type of influenza virus that is present in your body. Our expert reminds us that there are two different influenza viruses, influenza type A virus and influenza type B virus. In this case, although their treatment can be very similar, a few differences do exist.
Type A Influenza Treatment
Type A influenza treatment is based on general care measures. Such as:
- Drink plenty of fluids. Fluid intake is important to prevent dehydration.
- Adequate rest. This will help the immune system fight infection.
- Prevention of contagion. It is important to keep your distance from healthy people, especially on days when you have a fever, to avoid spreading the virus.
In addition, the following medications can be used to control your symptoms:
- Antihistamines: Desenfriol D, Clarityne D, and Allegra.
- Analgesics: Paracetamol or Ibuprofen; always avoid taking Aspirin to prevent brain damage.
In cases of severe infections or high risk of complications, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medication. These are some examples of commonly used antivirals, as a treatment for influenza:
- Oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
- Zanamivir (Relenza)
- Peramivir (Rapivab)
- Baloxavir (Xofluza)
Choosing one of these medications will be based on each patient’s needs and medication availability.
Type B Influenza Treatment
As with type-A influenza, treatment for type-B influenza is directed at fluid intake, rest, treatment of symptoms, and prevention of infection. Furthermore, if having type B influenza causes severe symptoms, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral, such as Tamiflu, Relenza, Rapivab, or Xofluza. Remember not to self-medicate. If you have any symptoms of the flu or influenza, go to your nearest hospital (CMQ City Center, CMQ Premiere, CMQ Riviera) or health center.
Influenza in Children
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children under the age of 5 are at higher risk of developing complications from influenza. Similarly, children with chronic illnesses like asthma or diabetes are also at increased risk for complications. In both cases, treatment should be prescribed by a physician.
Type A Influenza Treatment for Children
For children, treatment will be aimed at symptom control and home surveillance within the first 48 hours after getting the disease. If there is a risk of complications or severity, the doctor will prescribe the use of antiviral drugs, such as a syrup called Oseltamivir (Tamiflu or Seltaferon). The dosage should be adequate, depending on the child’s weight.
Type B Influenza Treatment for Children
As with type-A influenza, treatment for type-B influenza in children aims to control symptoms and prevent infection. Therefore, the use of analgesics and antihistamines in their pediatric or infantile presentation is recommended, according to the age and weight of the child. It is also recommended to rest at home and to increase the intake of liquids.
Vaccinations against Influenza
One of the main preventive measures against influenza is annual vaccination. During the winter season, it is important for all men, women, and children get their vaccine. In particular, it is especially important that the following groups of people get an influenza vaccine:
- Children aged 6 months to 5 years.
- People over 60 years of age.
- Pregnant women in any trimester of pregnancy.
- People of any age with obesity, diabetes, chronic lung disease, heart disease, and people with HIV or cancer (especially young adults).
- Personnel working in the healthcare industry.
Flu (Influenza) Vaccines Available in Puerto Vallarta
There are two types of vaccines available in Puerto Vallarta and Mexico in general:
Inactivated, fragmented, or fractionated influenza vaccine:
- Trivalent: Vaxigrip®, Agrippal S1® (TIV)
- Tetravalent: Fluzone Tetra®, Fluzactal® (QIV)
Recombinant influenza vaccine:
- Tetravalente: Flublok Tetravalente®
What flu shot (influenza vaccine) is the most effective?
According to our specialist, the Recombinant flu vaccine (brand name: Flublok Quadrivalent) generates a greater immune response. This means that more defenses are formed with this vaccine than with other vaccines. “We recommend that people get the Flublok Quadrivalent vaccine since it protects against four types of influenza viruses. In contrast, trivalent vaccines only protect against three types of influenza viruses,” Dr. Aguayo comments.
Where can I get influenza vaccines in Puerto Vallarta?
You can receive a flu shot at any public health center in Puerto Vallarta, during the official dates of the influenza campaign: from October to March. Usually, getting the influenza vaccine in Puerto Vallarta’s public health centers is free. Likewise, some of the public health centers that carry the influenza vaccine in Puerto Vallarta are:
Types of influenza vaccines available in the United States
- Egg-based inactivated influenza vaccine (egg-based IIV4s)
- Cell culture-based inactivated influenza vaccine (ccIIV4)
- Recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV4)
- Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4)
Likewise, in the United States, the trade names of the different influenza vaccine options are:
- Fluarix Quadrivalent
- FluLaval Quadrivalent
- Fluzone Quadrivalent
- Flucelvax Quadrivalent
- Flublok Quadrivalent
Frequently Asked Questions about Influenza Treatment
Influenza is a contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by influenza A, B, and C viruses. It occurs mainly in the fall and winter months, although the onset and duration of the season vary from year to year.
Influenza is transmitted by direct person-to-person contact. For example, when an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets of saliva can enter a healthy person’s body and infect him or her with the virus. In addition, Influenza can also be transmitted by shaking hands and kissing.
Moreover, the most common symptoms of influenza are fever over 100.4°F (38°C), headaches, muscle and joint pain, general malaise, weakness, cough, runny nose, sore eyes, sore throat, and sometimes diarrhea.
According to our expert, influenza treatment should focus on rest and increasing your fluid intake. In addition, you can take antiviral drugs if prescribed by your doctor.
Yes. The flu (influenza illness) needs personalized treatment and medication because serious complications like pneumonia can occur.