Popping painkillers for flu fever could do more harm than good
A new study has revealed that popping a pill to suppress your flu fever could make flu season worse for everybody, as an analysis has shown that they taken at current levels to treat fevers could cause 2000 flu deaths each year in the US alone.
Experts in the UK and the US have advised to take painkillers such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) or aspirin, New Scientist reported.
According to David Earn at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, some studies have shown that lowering fever may prolong viral infections and increase the amount of virus we can pass on to others.
The researchers analyzed 1982 study and found that ferrets, a common animal model for human flu, produced more seasonal flu virus if their fevers were lowered either with painkillers or by having their fur shaved off.
The team used a mathematical model and found that painkillers as used in the US could be increasing the transmission of ordinary winter flu by up to 5 percent.
The study is published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
(Posted on 22-01-2014)