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Are Over-The-Counter Meds Helping Spread The Flu?

4:57 PM, Jan 27, 2014   |    comments
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A controversial new study conducted at McMaster University in Canada links the spread of influenza to the use of cold and fever medication.

When people begin experiencing common flu symptoms, they often turn to over-the-counter medications. Popular choices like Tylenol, Aleve, and Motrin can be very effective in reducing symptoms, leading flu sufferers to believe they have recovered when in actuality they have not. Those individuals then return to the public space and spread the flu.

Researchers calculate that the widespread use of fever reducing drugs increases the number of flu cases by five percent every year in the U.S.

So what do you do? Suffer through it? No.
Experts say you should still take medication, but be aware that you can still transmit the flu, and stay home.

In fact, the CDC says you shouldn't come in contact with other people until the your fever has been gone for 24 hours -- without the help of fever reducing medicines. While over the counter flu medicines may work... your best bet is an antiviral prescription like tami-flu.

And if you need a refresher on the symptoms of the flu versus a cold, click here.

KXTV, WFMY News 2, CDC

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