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Vaccines are the mainstay of influenza prevention. In the treatment of a likely or certain case of influenza, ion channel inhibitors (amantadine and rimantadine) and neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir and zanamivir) can be effective in reducing the duration of illness in adults. In the absence of a likely or certain influenza diagnosis, ion channel inhibitors or neuramindase inhibitors have lower effectiveness, and symptom relief becomes the rationale for treatment of influenza-like illness. Because both influenza and influenzalike illness are self-limiting, safety of interventions is paramount, especially in children. Echinacea extracts, steam, chicken soup, ipatropium bromide, and oxymetazoline in adults are the interventions that appear to have the best empirical evidence.

Original publication




Journal article


Current Infectious Disease Reports

Publication Date





206 - 210