Is it safe to take oseltamivir without being tested for swine flu?
Q: My 17 years old son came in contact with a confirmed case of H1N1 infected person in his school 15 days back. For the last 2-3 days he is having cold, cough, body ache and fever 98-100 degree F. Yesterday I took him to a government hospital where they refused to get him tested, however at the same time they prescribed swine flu treatment and issued Fluvir (oseltamivir), paracetamol and other antibiotics. Is it advisable to take swine flu medicine without being tested positive for H1N1? Will it not affect his immunity if he is not infected at present and actually gets it in the future?
A:While treating H1N1 infection, time is of paramount importance. Ideally oseltamivir (Fluvir) should be started within 48 hours of the appearance of symptoms; delay can be dangerous. Since the patient was in contact with a confirmed case of H1N1 influenza and is suffering from typical flu-like symptoms, the doctor made the correct decision in prescribing the drug. Even if the patient is not suffering from H1N1, a full course will not have any adverse effect on immunity in future.