What is the difference between cold and flu?
Difference Between cold and flu: Winter respiratory illnesses may look similar, but watch out for a difference
How many times have breaths been dismissed as a “cold only” and kept your nose and sinus stuffed assuming that the symptoms would run down the path, perhaps a little more quickly with small doses of homemade chicken soup?
The flu is another story. Colds eventually go away, but the flu may be fatal. About 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized and 36,000 die annually from flu complications – and this dwarfs compared to the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed between 20 and 100 million people. The best defense against it: a vaccine. However, only 30 percent of the 4,000 adults surveyed said they had been vaccinated this season, despite standard supplies of flu vaccines, according to a new survey by the Rand Corporation. (GlaxoSmithKline, who makes the flu vaccine, helped pay for the survey.)
So what is the difference between cold and flu – and how can you be sure which one you have?
We asked Jonathan Field, director of the Allergy and Asthma Clinic in New York. Langon Medical Center / Bellevue Hospital in New York. Below is a revised version of our interview.
What causes the flu? How is it different from cold?
Difference Between cold and flu: Influenza is a viral infection caused by the influenza virus, which is a respiratory virus. Colds are also viral infections caused by the adenovirus or coronavirus, and there are many, many subgroups with lots of variants. That is why it is said that there is no cure for the common cold and no real vaccine. Influenza is known to be influenza and can be prevented by vaccination.
Colds tend to produce a runny nose, congestion and a sore throat. Influenza is more pronounced as it infects the lungs and joints and causes pneumonia, respiratory failure and even death. It tends to affect the intestine more in children, with diarrhea and vomiting. Due to the relative immature maturity of the intestine, they may absorb more viruses and cause more damage to the intestine. Flu causes pandemics and epidemics with the potential for death, while colds are a nuisance to us.
How can a person who feels sick distinguish between cold, flu or allergy?
The Difference Between cold and flu: The flu usually begins in early November and can last until March. Peak time now – from November to January. Allergies are typical in spring or autumn, and more cold in winter.
The body can only respond in many ways, but there are things you can use to distinguish. Symptoms of allergies are similar to those of a cold, but [results in] the immune system’s response to something benign. Usually there is no fever, there are allergic manifestations of itching in the back of the throat or ears. It is unlikely that your body will be sensitive to pain. With a cold, there is sometimes low grade fever.
You can tell the difference by the length and severity of the disease and whether you have had a similar experience in the past. Cold and flu usually last seven to ten days, but the flu can last three to four weeks; the flu virus may not be present, but you have symptoms long after it is left. Allergies can last weeks or months.
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Are the treatments for these diseases different?
For any of these things, if it affects the nose or sinuses, rinsing with the saline solution that expels mucus and the virus is the first line defense. It’s not the most fun thing to do, but it works very well. There are classes of drugs that can help the flu – Tamiflu and Relenza – antivirals that prevent viruses from being able to reproduce and shorten the length and severity of the disease. But it must be taken within 48 hours or the cat will logically log out if the bag was [because by that time] the virus had achieved the most reproduction. For a cold or flu, relax and use decongestants, antihistamines, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, chicken soup and liquids.
Zinc is supposed to help the body’s natural defenses work according to its natural ability and reduce the severity and length of the cold. Cells need zinc as a catalyst in protective processes, so if you supply them with zinc, they help them work more efficiently. Iron supplements should also be blocked. Iron viruses use as part of the reproductive cycle, so depriving them of it prevents their spread.
Most of these infections are not bacterial and do not require [and will not respond to] antibiotics. The rule of thumb is that a viral infection should go away within seven to 10 days. If the symptoms persist then, consider whether they are bacteria such as Strep or Haemophilus infenzae. These bacteria cause diseases that last longer.
Is this treatment the same for children?
In general, the same rules apply: Most children have six to eight colds a year in the first three years of their lives, most of whom are viral. It is very easy to test for bacterial infection and for this you must have a [positive] culture [before antibiotic treatment].
Are strategies to avoid cold and flu different?
Avoiding is very similar: washing your hands strictly, not sharing glasses or utensils, and avoiding direct contact with people who sneeze. As long as a person has a fever, they have the ability to spread the infection. After not having a fever for 24 hours, they were not contagious.
The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that nearly every person get the flu vaccine: children from 6 months to 19 years old, pregnant women, people 50 and older, and people of any age with weakened immune systems. Is the shot useful to anyone who gets it?
Unless you have contraindications, there is no reason not to get them. Contraindications include egg allergy (because the vaccine is grown from egg products), any vaccines within a week or two, and an active disease at the time of your vaccine.