Is it cold or is it flu?

7 Feb 2013, 15:54
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While the flu epidemic is spreading over the US and is also awaited in other parts of northern hemisphere, the chances to get sick are getting higher and higher.


In these circumstances, when you or someone in your family gets sick, “Is it flu?” is perhaps the first question that comes to mind. To answer that, you need to know the basics, which I'd like to share.

flu symptoms

The difference between the common cold and the flue is that they are caused by the different viruses.

With the common cold the symptoms tend to come on gradually. Usually, they are not severe and tend to affect the upper respiratory pathway. So they affect the nose and the throat most of the time. With the common cold you should be able to get on and do things.

With the flu, on the other hand, it would usually be quite impossible, as it is much more severe illness for the majority of people. It knock you for six and basically prevents you from doing anything else but lying down on bed.

There is so-called ten pound note test. If you see a ten pound note on the flооr and you are able to easily pick it up, you have not got the flu. You are more likely to have a common cold.


The viruses that cause both common cold and flue are spread in little liquid droplets when somebody talks, laughs, sneezes or coughs and does not protect their mouth or nose. You can also pick these viruses up if you touch the surface that has been contaminated with them. It might be a doorknob or a phone. Then you touch your nose or eyes, or face allowing the virus to get into the body.


If you develop a common cold, let's say, you sneeze and have the runny nose, itchy, thickly throat and suffer from a dry cough then it is important to rest as much as possible, eat enough FUD, drink enough water or non-alcoholic beverages and use general over the counter medicines that contain either paracetamol or ibuprofen, cough suppressants, decongestants, etc., to relieve these symptoms.


If you have a flu and are knocked nut, it is very important to rest as much as possible, drink plenty of liquid and use the available remedies to actually relieve the muscles aches and pains and the high temperature. So, for the most part the same measures must be taken for bath flu and cold. Deep inhalations may be effective in combating the disease and decongestant the nose as well.


Anther important note, as with a common cold the flu is caused by a virus, so the antibiotics will be of no benefit. You can also be recommended by your doctor to use anti-viral treatment, especially if you belong to the high-risk category and flu is proved to be circulating within your community. The high-risk category usually contains elderly people., children, pregnant women, obese people., and other possible groups of heightened vulnerability.


I think that it's really important that these people. who are in greater risk of suffering complications from the flu, for example infectious pneumonia, leading to the hospitalization, go through the flu vaccination every year.


These people. include everybody over the age of sixty five, these people. living in a residential home or in a nursing home, somebody who is a primary carer of somebody with a major illness, for whom if a carer is sick it will put that individual's care at risk, and then everybody over the age of six months who has a long-term condition affecting their heart, liver, lungs or kidney, who has diabetes, or whose immune system is weakened because of a medical condition or medical treatment.

For most people. who develop a common cold and indeed get struck down by the flu, they can safely be managed at home looking after themselves. In case of the flu you may need someone to look after you.


If you still have to go to work with a cold you are obliged to try to protect ethers around you. Simply, it means that whenever you cough or sneeze you must cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue, then throw it away and wash your hands afterwards. It is also a good idea to wear the medical face mask and wash your hand more frequently. The hands are the most common way to transfer the virus to the surfaces that other people. will often touch risking picking the virus up.

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