Flu and Cold Symptoms
- People who live in nursing homes or other institutions of long-term care.
- Adults and children who have heart disease or chronic lung.
- Adults and children who suffer from diabetes, kidney disease, anemia or immune system disorders, including AIDS.
- Children undergoing long-term therapy with aspirin.
- People over 65 years.
- Workers in health care facilities or family members caring for a person who may suffer complications from influenza.
People who do not belong to these groups are also interested in getting vaccinated. If you’r part of one of these groups or are interested in getting a flu shot anyway, talk to your doctor. October and November are the best months to be vaccinated. In addition to vaccination, there are now drugs that can help prevent certain types of flu or reduce the severity of symptoms if taken 48 hours before their appearance.
Colds and flu share many common symptoms.
Feeling tired, sneezing, coughing and runny nose are the first symptoms of colds. You make little or no fever, perhaps one or two degrees higher than normal. You can also have muscle aches, dry throat or sore throat, watery eyes and headaches. As the cold worsens, runny nose fluid becomes thicker and yellowish. Symptoms can vary from cold to another. A cold usually lasts three or four days but can last up to 10 days. Many adults have at least one or two colds a year, and most children will have five to eight. Colds are more frequent during the months where people live inside. Influenza, also known as influenza, starts suddenly and hits the body. The fever may reach 40 ° C (105F °) and accompanied by the following symptoms: feeling of weakness and fatigue, dry cough, runny nose, chills, muscle aches, severe headache and sore throat. The fever may last three to five days. After the flu, feel weak, tired or even coughing can last up to three weeks. Influenza is most common in winter and early spring. It often appears in epidemic form. The influenza virus changes often. For 10 years, it undergoes significant changes and it occurs when more serious epidemics.
There is no cure for colds or flu. To feel better, you can treat your symptoms while your body fights the virus.
- Stay home and rest in bed, especially if you have a fever.
- Stop smoking and avoid breathing the smoke of others, which may aggravate the symptoms of colds.
- Drink plenty of fluids like water and fruit juices. Try flavored iced (Popsicles). Fluids help loosen mucus. It is important to take as if you have a fever because it can deplete your body fluids and cause dehydration.
- Drink hot tea with lemon and honey to soothe a sore throat and nasal congestion. A chicken soup can also relieve nasal congestion.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Gargle with warm salt water several times a day to relieve sore throat (1 tsp salt in 1 cup water). Sprays or throat lozenges may also relieve pain.
- Suck on cough lozenges cons or hard candy to relieve cough, especially those that do not contain sugar.
If the child is too young to blow his nose, aspirate mucus with a bulb suction. A cold mist vaporizer may also help. Use saline nose drops to help loosen mucus. These nose drops do not contain any drugs, unlike nasal decongestants. The saline drops are like sea water and used to moisturize the nasal mucosa (1 / 4 teaspoon salt in 1 cup of cold water).
Analgesics relieve muscle aches and pains and reduce fever. They can be useful, especially acetaminophen (Panadol, Tylenol), ASA (Aspirin) and ibuprofen (Advil, Medipren, Motrin IB). Warning: you should not give aspirin to children and teenagers who have flu or chickenpox because these infections can cause Reye’s syndrome. It is a rare disease which can be fatal. Antihistamines block histamine, a substance produced in response to allergies and causes a runny nose and sneezing. They are probably not useful against the cold unless you have allergies. Examples: chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, pheniramine, triprolidine. Warning: may cause drowsiness. Antitussives tell your brain to stop coughing. Useful for relieving dry coughs. Do not take cough medicine if your cough produces mucus. Example: dextromethorphan. Warning: may cause drowsiness, best used at night.
Expectorants help thin mucus to be coughed up more easily. Doctors disagree over their effectiveness. Example: guaifenesin. Drink plenty of fluids is one of the best ways to thin mucus. The nasal spray decongestants reduce nasal congestion. Useful for a temporary period. Examples: ephedrine, phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine. Caution: Do not use more than eight hours and for more than 3 days away. Prolonged use can worsen symptoms when you stop (rebound). Oral decongestants also decrease nasal congestion. One of the most effective remedies against the cold. Examples: ephedrine, phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine, pseudoephedrine.
Although these two diseases are manifested by respiratory symptoms they differ on several points. The general symptoms such as fever and fatigue, are much more important during a flu. While the person who has a cold usually continues to work, the person with influenza is much more often absent from work for a few days, mainly because of the intensity of fatigue. Moreover fever is usually absent or very slight in a cold, so it can be much more variable during the flu, generally individuals with influenza have a higher fever. by cons, in the very sick, such as the elderly, fever may be absent. Other symptoms such as headache and abdominal pain are virtually absent during cold but often present in cases of influenza.
The viruses that cause colds and flu are transmitted by contact with hands or by droplets in the air during sneezing and coughing. To be wet or cold does not give a cold or the flu. Two simple preventive measures can avoid catching a cold or the flu: wash your hands often with warm soapy water and avoid touching eyes or nose. The number of viruses is higher occur when cold symptoms so you can transmit the virus before symptoms appear. Use paper tissues to be thrown away.
Influenza is a disease caused by a virus (influence), which is transmitted from person to person through coughing, sneezing and contaminated objects directly, and is it a virus particuliaridad easy mutation.
The most common symptoms are: progressive deterioration, chills, fever up to 40 º C, sneezing, coughing, headache, muscle aches, sore throat …. The fever usually lasts from 3 to 5 days if no improvement complications occurring in 1 to 2 weeks.
- Get vaccinated every year, especially if the person is within the risk group (aged over 65 years, certain illnesses, groups of people who can pass the risk to an individual and personal services).
- Emphasize the rest.
- Take a mild analgesic (paracetamol) to ease the discomfort.
- Drink plenty of juices and water.
- In case of fever over 38 º C, giving an antipyretic or cold cloths to his forehead.
Your child’s doctor can not identify the specific virus causing cold symptoms, but examine your throat and ears and can even tell a throat (culture) to ensure that symptoms are not due to a medical condition that may require specific treatment. (If after about 3 days, your child’s symptoms get worse instead of better, you may be suffering from strep throat, sinusitis, pneumonia or bronchitis, especially if your child or teen smokes).
Taking a throat culture is a simple and painless procedure, which involves brushing the inside of the throat with a long cotton swab. The analysis of the germs that stick to the swab will help the doctor determine if your child has strep throat and needs treatment with antibiotics.
If your child’s symptoms last more than a week or come every year for the same period, or every time it is exposed to pollen, dust, animals or other substances, it is possible that your child suffers from allergies. If your child has trouble breathing or wheezing occurs when a cold, could have asthma.
You should also consult your doctor if you think your child may be suffering from something more than a cold, or if your condition gets worse instead of better.
The following are other reasons to communicate with the doctor:
* phlegm coughing up a lot;
* shortness of breath;
* unusual lethargy / tiredness;
* inability to keep food or liquids down or poor fluid intake
* it hurts with increasing intensity the head, face or throat;
* it hurts or throat swells so much that you can not swallow;
* fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39.3 degrees Celsius) or higher, or a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.0 Celsius) or higher for more than a day
* pain in your chest or stomach;
* will swell the glands in the neck;
As with most viral infections, colds should complete its cycle. Meanwhile, plenty of rest, avoiding vigorous activity and drink plenty of fluids (juice, water or soft drinks without caffeine) help your child feel better.
Surely, going to school or continue with normal activities do not worsen your child’s cold. But it will increase the likelihood of spread to classmates or friends. It is appropriate for your child will leave some of the daily activities until you feel better.