The Common Cold and Flu Are Not the Same!
Common cold and flu, which we usually catch during the winter months, can be confused. However, the two are very different from each other. Therefore, it is necessary to take precautions to get to know both of them closely and of course not to be sick. The biggest measure to be taken is primarily to strengthen the immune system. For this, it is very important to eat well, sleep a lot and exercise.
With the cold and warm weather, runny nose, sneezing, headache, the malaise started to manifest itself in many of us. If you have these symptoms, do not immediately think ‘I have the flu’. Because these are the symptoms of the common cold. Flu is a much more severe illness. You can find the differences between the two diseases and what to do in which situation in our article.
We talk about cold and flu as if they are the same thing, but aren’t they two very different ailments?
Yes, cold and flu are the same things, but flu is a very different disease. The common cold and flu viruses are completely different viruses. We call the common cold the flu; however, the flu can be very severe, very serious fatal cases may occur, but the common cold does not follow such a severe picture. So viruses and clinical symptoms are quite different in both.
What precautions should we take when a friend is sick at work?
Usually, the droplet passes by contact and air. For example, if you share the same environment with a friend who has a cold at work, and if your immune system is weak, you are likely to get a cold. The most important way of protection is washing the hands. Frequent hand washing at work is the most important factor that protects the person from both flu and cold. Because if the sick person puts his / her hand to his nose and then holds a paper or a pen and the other person comes in contact with that paper or pen, the disease can be transmitted. The disease can spread even by touching the faucet on-off valves or turning on and off electrical sockets. Therefore, simple antiseptic solutions can be used in workplaces and public areas. You can also carry these in your bag. If you are watching the severe flu, a mask can be worn. These masks are sold in pharmacies. If someone is sick at home, it is necessary to pay attention to these details.
If you have cold, simple painkillers containing paracetamol may work, provided you consult a doctor. Antibiotics have no place in these patients. However, the doctor may start taking antibiotics to prevent complications from the flu virus. Treatment for the common cold is usually symptomatic. We usually recommend a simple pain reliever, a throat spray, and a throat lozenge. We can give you a nasal spray if your nose is blocked, and syrup if you have a cough. The best treatment is rest. It is necessary to rest for a few days, not to drop the liquid from the hand, and pay attention to diet and sleep patterns. We expect the disease to ease in this way within 3-4 days. If it is not alleviated and the discharge continues in the nose, rhinitis or sinusitis may be in question. If the doctor deems it necessary, then he can start antibiotics. If the cold has not passed, cough and sputum, then there may be inflammation of the larynx, which we call bronchitis or laryngitis. In this case, antibiotics may be needed under the doctor’s control.
How can we distinguish the clinical picture of these two diseases?
In the common cold; There is a mild sore throat, watery eyes, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, sneezing, sneezing, a little pain in the temples, a mild resentment, but it can be overcome standing. However, if you have a high fever, coughing attacks, very serious joint pains, muscle aches, and weakness, we consider it as flu. Cough is more common in flu, but can also be in colds. The best diagnosis can of course be made by examination. Both viral diseases are contagious.
Does the common cold occur in cold weather?
Viruses of viral diseases often prefer cold weather and times of rapid change of weather to occur. It is usually a spring, autumn, and winter disease; It is not very common in summer. However, if the person’s immune system is strong, there is no such thing as “I got cold, I got sick”. The cold doesn’t actually make you sick. There is a virus in the cold but if your immune system is weak, you are getting sick. Otherwise, if there was a sick coming out in every cold weather, there would be nobody left in the world.
So what do we have to pay attention to during the winter months?
Even if your partner gets a cold, if your immune system is strong, nothing will happen to you, the disease will not pass. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the immune system. First of all, you need to take care of yourself. Nutrition is the most important thing. Drinking plenty of fluids is very important. We need to bring more vitamin C, fewer carbohydrates, plenty of fruits and vegetables into our lives. Herbal teas can be drunk; especially echinacea. The second important thing is sleep. Because regular sleep renews the person’s immune system at night. Thus, the cells that provide immunity are regenerated. Since sleep-deprived people have very weak immunity, the common cold virus finds them first. We also recommend exercising. Not only when you are sick, but always! As we recommend all of these during the illness, all of them can be applied to prevent the disease.
What is happening that carries the flu to a dangerous level?
Flu viruses can lead to fatal cases. The cause of death is usually lung infections. It is usually not fatal in adult patients unless there are an underlying oncological, tumoral condition and another condition that weakens the immune system. But in patients over the age of 60-65 with diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, the flu virus can cause serious problems.
Who do you recommend the flu vaccine too? What is the vaccine protection rate?
In particular, we strongly recommend the vaccine to those over 60 and pediatric age groups. Especially if there is systemic blood pressure, diabetes, and lung diseases. It is also recommended for some adult age groups. For example, healthcare professionals, those who are constantly in contact with sick people in crowded places should be vaccinated at any age. Again, if you have a tumoral disease, if you have a severe allergic lung infection, if you have asthma or bronchitis, if you are young but have high blood pressure and diabetes, we recommend the flu vaccine. It is the vaccination season from September to the end of November. But even vaccination protection cannot be one hundred percent. The flu virus is a virus that regenerates itself. We vaccinate against the virus of the past year, but that virus renews itself the next year. We can say that the protection rate is 60-70 percent.
Those who have had the flu vaccine say that they got the flu soon after. Is this normal?
Yes, when you get the virus in your body, you can experience a mild malaise.
Are there any illnesses triggered by flu or a common cold?
Pulmonary infections are what we fear most about flu viruses. These infections can be fatal. Because it can turn pneumonia, that is pneumonia. Or it can cause sinusitis. Accordingly, the flu virus can go up to meningitis, brain abscess, cerebellum abscess. If the cold goes down a little, it can turn into a throat infection, which we call the larynx, and if it goes down a bit, it can turn into bronchitis. But if it goes up, it turns into simple sinusitis. It can increase heart complaints in heart patients. It can also trigger muscle pain and serious joint diseases.
Why do some people get sick more often and more quickly?
This has a lot to do with the immune system. Sometimes some situations increase the common cold, of course. For example, it can be seen more frequently in overweight people with severe bone curvature and deviation in the nose, who cannot breathe comfortably through the nose. Hidden reflux is also a complaint that increases the burning sensation in the throat and pharyngitis. People who have never been sick usually have stronger immune systems.
Some drugs strengthen the immune system, right?
Some drugs strengthen the immune system; however, these are given to risky groups. In recent years, plant yeasts are used, it can give vitamin stores. These protect the person more against viruses, and patients who suffer from common colds are also recommended antioxidant drugs containing selenium, magnesium, and vitamins.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Fever (38 ° C and above) rises and chills are observed, accompanied by headache and abdominal pain. A dry cough appears. Apart from these, joint and sore throats, anorexia, runny nose, sneezing, dizziness can also be seen in flu.
What are the stages of the flu?
Complaints usually last for 7 days, get worse in the first 2-3 days, and then recovery begins, but the recovery period may extend up to 1-2 weeks. Symptoms can reach a level that will affect the daily work of the patient. Weakness can continue for several weeks even after the flu goes away.
Who is most affected by the flu?
The disease affects all age groups from infancy to old age and can be seen. However, the disease may be more severe in people in the risk group compared to other people.
– People aged 65 and over and under 2 years old,
– Those who are between 6 months and 18 years old and need to use aspirin for a long time,
Those with any metabolic disease including diabetes,
Those with chronic respiratory diseases including asthma,
– Those with chronic kidney disease,
– Those with chronic cardiovascular system disease,
– People with the suppressed immune system (chronic blood disease, cancer patients, those using immunosuppressive drugs, HIV / AIDS patients),
– Nursing home, nursing home, etc. living in environments,
Those who are overweight,
– Pregnant women.
How should flu be treated during pregnancy?
Flu can be severe and fatal in pregnant women, people with suspected illness should consult a physician. Pregnant women are recommended to consume plenty of fluids, rest, eat well, and consult a physician urgently in case of increased complaints. There is no harm in using antiviral drugs in pregnant women if the physician finds it appropriate.
What are the side effects of the flu shot?
Pain, redness, and swelling may occur at the injection site at a rate of 15-20% after flu vaccination. Side effects affecting the whole body are extremely rare (less than 1%) and side effects such as fever, weakness, muscle pain (if seen) begin 6-12 hours after the vaccine and disappear spontaneously within 1-2 days. As with any biological product, an allergic reaction may occur after the flu vaccine is administered.