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Cold and Flu

Cold and Flu

 

A ‘common’ cold and the flu have similar symptoms however they do differ. A cold is a mild respiratory illness and the flu is caused by a cA ‘common’ cold and the flu have similar symptoms however they do differ. A cold is a mild respiratory illness and the flu is caused by a contagious virus that is spread via fluids. These contagious fluids can be caught via coughing, sneezing or direct contact.ontagious virus that is spread via fluids. These contagious fluids can be caught via coughing, sneezing or direct contact.

 

 

The flu can be categorised into three types of viruses known as influenza A, B and C. Both a cold and flu affect the nose, throat and sinuses and can occasionally cause irritation to the eyes. The symptoms that arise from a cold or the flu are a response of the body’s immune system to the infection. A cold and flu can be experienced at any age, and the ‘common’ cold is know to be the most frequent infectious disease in humans. Older people, pregnant women and children are at most risk of developing further medical complications arising from the flu.

 

 

Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of a cold or flu can be similar; however symptoms of a cold can last for a few days, whereas flu symptoms can last for a few days up to weeks. Symptoms include:

 

Cold

  • mild fever (occasionally),
  • sore throat,
  • cough,
  • runny nose,
  • nasal congestion,
  • headache,
  • loss of appetite.

 

Flu

  • loss of appetite,
  • high fever, chills and sweating,
  • dry sensation in the nose and throat,
  • fatigue,
  • headache.

 

 

Management
Management of the flu is important to decrease the chance of further illness such as pneumonia or inflammation of the brain and heart. Management for a cold and flu are similar and include rest and plenty of fluids to help avoid dehydration.

 

A yearly immunisation against the latest strain of flu is recommended in Australia and can be administered by your local doctor. Immunisation is strongly recommended for ‘at-risk’ groups such as older people and pregnant women.

 

 

Disclaimer
The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.

 

Sources

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Flu_influenza
http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Colds_explained?open
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/in-depth/cold-remedies/art-20046403

 

 

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