What is the flu and how do you distinguish it from a cold?

Like the common cold, the flu is a viral infection that is spread through droplets. One can easily become infected by sharing space with an infected person or by touching items they use. Because the symptoms of the two illnesses are so similar, it is simple to mistake one for the other. However, these infections can be distinguished from one another by a number of characteristics:

Cold and flu
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  • With a cold, the disease usually comes on slowly, but with the flu, it comes on quickly.
  • A body temperature above 38 degrees indicates the flu. In a cold, we are dealing with a temperature below 38 degrees.
  • The flu is accompanied by joint and muscle ailments. This rarely happens with a cold.
  • Hoarseness and a runny nose are common with the common cold, but not with the flu.
  • On the other hand, a dry cough is a symptom typical of the flu, which is rare with a cold.
  • With the flu, we are dealing with a very bad mood, with a cold, it is not so noticeable.
  • The flu can cause tightness in the chest, while the common cold does not.

Emergency flu symptoms

We might be dealing with symptoms that need immediate medical attention if the flu gets worse. When the body is hypoxic or experiencing circulation issues, we are primarily referring to disconcerting shortness of breath or a decrease in saturation below 94. Additionally, signs like the following should raise our concern:

  • breathing problems – trouble taking in or letting out air,
  • audible wheezing when breathing
  • lip blue,
  • fever over 39 degrees lasting more than 3 days ,
  • very low blood pressure combined with, for example, dizziness,
  • scanty and infrequent urination, dark urine.

How do you treat the flu at home?

Since influenza is a viral infection and cannot be treated with antibiotics, it is necessary to turn to natural remedies that aid the body in battling the virus. Increased doses of vitamin D, such as units, and a high dose of vitamin C are the essential vitamins that will aid our immune system in the fight against the disease (up to 500 mg for an adult). Zinc will also be beneficial because it plays a role in regulating the cellular and humoral immune responses.

A necessary aspect of strengthening the body is rest. So when we’re on sick leave, let’s use that time to lie in bed. Let’s not catch up with work and do not fulfill outstanding household chores.

Additionally, let’s use symptomatic medications to help us combat the disease’s most troublesome symptoms, like fever. We can also use analgesic, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory medications after consulting a doctor or pharmacist. If you have a runny nose, saline inhalations or medicines that clear up the nasal mucosa will help.

You can also take an anti-flu medication to prevent the virus from spreading if you are diagnosed with the flu in the early stages of the illness. We can also try using probiotics or antiviral medications, which can boost our immunity by altering the intestinal flora. Probiotic strains must have a documented impact on boosting the body’s immunity in this case. For instance, Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is one of these.


Author: DoctorMaryam.org

4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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