Fever, Flu and Contamination

FluThe world of medicine is in constant movement; researches on the human body and on how to treat certain illnesses are in constant innovations. Because of these advancements, many opinions arise on how to treat those illnesses.

In the CBC’s article “Fever-reducing meds encourage spread of flu: McMaster report“ researchers claim that using drugs such as Tylenol, which contains ibuprofen, can increase the chance of transmitting the influenza. It is true that fever can help reduce the number of microbes or viruses in our system (which is good!), but this increase of temperature cannot be left on its own. Some viruses are so strong that the temperature of the body has to increase to a level that could potentially be dangerous for our life if not controlled. At a certain temperature, the heat starts to denaturize the proteins in our body and cannot be reversed. In other words, it breaks the bonds (killing them) of the proteins, which are what keeps us alive. The influenza is not dangerous to everyone, only some “types of person“, such as older people, babies and toddlers, persons with pulmonary or chronicle diseases, have a higher risk of getting complications from this virus. These days, most people get vaccinated against the flu to limit the symptoms and help the body get rid of the virus faster. Furthermore, since the virus is eliminated quickly; the risk of contamination is even smaller.

In my opinion, people should not stop taking drugs that could help stop a fever in order to decrease the risk of transmitting the influenza; they should prioritise vaccines. However, I do agree that, in any case, a contagious person should stay at home to avoid or minimize contacts with other persons to reduce the contagion.

(CBC’s article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/fever-reducing-meds-encourage-spread-of-flu-mcmaster-report-1.2505505)


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