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Influenza: Can oseltamivir (Tamiflu) prevent complications?

In some groups of people, having the flu can sometimes lead to serious complications such as pneumonia. Drugs like oseltamivir (trade name: Tamiflu) mainly aim to prevent things from turning serious. But there is no scientific proof that they do this. Research has only shown that taking Tamiflu might make general flu symptoms go away a bit sooner.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: August 1, 2013

Fact sheet: H1N1 flu

In April 2009 the flu caused by the H1N1 virus appeared in a new form – also called the “swine flu”. This germ will also continue to cause flu infections over the next few years. In Germany, the H1N1 flu has led to only mild symptoms for most people – and there are several things you can do to protect yourself. Some people, pregnant women for example, have a higher risk of more severe symptoms.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: April 20, 2011

Warning signs of a rare, dangerous complication of the H1N1 flu

Most people who were infected by the H1N1 influenza virus of 2009 and then also came down with the flu only had mild symptoms. They recovered within a week’s time without needing medical attention.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: February 15, 2013

Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses

Although respiratory viruses usually only cause minor disease, they can cause epidemics. Approximately 10% to 15% of people worldwide contract influenza annually, with attack rates as high as 50% during major epidemics. Global pandemic viral infections have been devastating. In 2003 the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic affected around 8000 people, killed 780 and caused an enormous social and economic crisis. In 2006 a new avian H5N1, and in 2009 a new H1N1 'swine' influenza pandemic threat, caused global anxiety. Single and potentially expensive measures (particularly the use of vaccines or antiviral drugs) may be insufficient to interrupt the spread. Therefore, we searched for evidence for the effectiveness of simple physical barriers (such as handwashing or wearing masks) in reducing the spread of respiratory viruses, including influenza viruses.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2011

Systematic Reviews in PubMed

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