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Symptoms Of Flu And Colds - How To Differentiate Them?

 Symptoms Of Flu And Colds - How To Differentiate Them?

Symptoms Of Flu And Colds - How To Differentiate Them?


Flu and colds are not the same disease. Most people know this, but not everyone can distinguish them. How to distinguish between flu and cold symptoms? Here is an overview of the most important differences between flu symptoms and common cold symptoms, and tips on how to help yourself when you get flu.

 

Flu and cold symptoms

Flu treatment

Flu prevention

Flu and cold symptoms

Symptoms and signs

 

Influenza is a severe, and sometimes a deadly, disease due to its many and varied complications. They can be caused by the influenza virus itself or by secondary bacterial infections, that is, by the joint action of the virus and bacteria. Complications are most common in the respiratory system itself (inflammation of the ear and sinus, as well as pneumonia), but all other organ systems can be affected.

 

In addition to being common, pneumonia is also the most serious complication of influenza, as it is responsible for most deaths from this disease. There are two basic, etiologically and clinically distinct forms of pneumonia in influenza. It is the primary viral pneumonia caused by the influenza virus itself, which occurs more frequently in pandemics, and the secondary bacterial pneumonia, caused by the bacteria (pneumococcus, hemophilus, staphylococcus).

 

 

 

Flu treatment

Symptomatic treatment of influenza includes rest, fluid replacement, and medication to reduce fever and calm coughs.

The basic treatment for influenza is symptomatic, and refers to procedures for eliminating and relieving certain symptoms of a disease if they are more pronounced. It includes resting, replenishing fluid with heavy drinking (or infusion in more severe forms of the disease), and taking medications to lower fever and relieve cough. Because the flu is caused by viruses, antibiotics are not effective so they can only treat bacterial complications, namely ear infections, sinusitis and pneumonia.

 

Today, there are specific antiviral drugs that are effective in treating influenza and are called neuraminidase inhibitors according to their mechanism of action. They block the activity of the neuraminidase viral enzyme (affecting the Achilles tendon of the influenza virus), thereby preventing the virus from leaving the infected cell. New antiviral drugs have been in use since 2000. There are two such drugs - oseltamivir and zanamivir.

 

Zanamivir is prepared in aerosol form only (spray) and is used in adults and children over five years of age. Oseltamivir is taken by mouth (capsules for adults and children) and is used to treat influenza in adults, all children and pregnant women. These medicines must be administered from the very beginning of the disease, certainly within the first 48 hours after the onset of the first symptoms. The effectiveness is greater if the drug is taken on the first day of illness.

 

Antiviral drugs, if taken within the first 48 hours after the onset of the disease, significantly shorten the duration of the disease and reduce the severity of the symptoms, and in a large percentage reduce the number and severity of complications. This results in reduced antibiotic consumption and the number of hospitalizations.

 

Flu prevention

Due to constant changes in the virus and short duration of immunity, the vaccination should be repeated every year.

Because influenza is a serious disease, and it is devastating for the elderly and chronic, and epidemic, public health and epidemiological measures to prevent and combat infection are very important. General measures, such as recommendations for minimizing people's gathering, delaying cultural and sporting events, closing schools and kindergartens, banning visits to hospitals, etc., do not achieve the expected impact, and are now largely abandoned. The only effective treatment for influenza prevention is active immunization, that is, vaccination.

 

Vaccination is carried out with a dead vaccine containing parts of a viral particle, and is especially useful for vulnerable populations in which influenza can be a very serious disease. These are all persons over 65 years of age and patients with chronic pulmonary, cardiac and renal diseases, followed by diabetics and other immunocompromised persons. It is advisable to vaccinate children and pregnant women and all the rest of the population.

 

The contraindication to administering a dead vaccine is only hypersensitivity to eggs, since the vaccine is produced on fertilized chicken eggs. For seasonal influenza, a combined three-component vaccine containing two types of influenza A virus and influenza B virus is used. Due to constant changes in the virus and short duration of immunity, the vaccination should be repeated every year.



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