Cold and Flu -causes, Symptoms, Treatment

What is Cold and Flu

Is it a cold or the flu? While a common cold, including chest cold and head cold, can be caused by more than 200 viruses, seasonal flu is caused by either influenza A or B viruses. Cold and flu remedies can usually ease symptoms. Antiviral medications like Relenza or Tamiflu are helpful if prescribed soon after flu symptoms start.Influenza (commonly known as the flu) and colds are among the most common infections of the respiratory system. People often confuse the two, calling a bad cold the “flu,” or vice versa.

Typically, the flu (also known as influenza) has symptoms that make a child feel worse than symptoms associated with a common cold, but it’s not always that easy to tell the difference between the two.

What are the causes of the flu?
Influenza viruses are divided into three types, designated A, B, and C. Influenza types A and B are responsible for epidemics of respiratory illness that occur almost every winter and are often associated with increased rates of hospitalization and death. Influenza type C differs from types A and B in some important ways.

The truth is, the flu and the common cold are caused by viruses. People get sick more often in the winter because they are exposed to each other more in the winter than in the summer. When it is cold outside, people tend to stay inside and are more likely to spread germs to one another.

The flu is caused by three types (strains) of viruses — influenza A, B and C. Type A is responsible for the deadly influenza pandemics (worldwide epidemics) that strike every 10 to 40 years. Type B can lead to smaller, more localized outbreaks. And either types A or B can cause the flu that circulates almost every winter. Type C has never been connected with a large epidemic.

Symptoms of Cold and Flu
Viral pharyngitis may develop gradually. It is often accompanied by the flu or a cold, and body aches. If a fever is present, it will generally be in the range of 101 degrees F or below.With cold symptoms, your nose teems with watery nasal secretions for the first few days. Later, these become thicker and darker. Dark mucus is natural and does not usually mean you have developed a bacterial infection, such as a sinus infection.

Recognizing the symptoms of the common cold is important for a few reasons. If you realize what symptoms are bothering you the most, you will know which medications will help relieve them.

Introduction to cold, flu, and allergy treatments
Every year, millions of people use over-the-counter (OTC) products to relieve nasal stuffiness and congestion, sneezing, runny noses, sore throat, and cough. The common causes of these symptoms include the viruses that cause the common cold, influenza virus, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), and sinus infections (sinusitis).

ince it is caused by a virus, antibiotics do not work against the common cold. These types of upper respiratory infections go away on their own and taking antibiotics will not help your child get better any faster and will likely not prevent secondary bacterial infections, such as an ear infection or sinus infection.

For thick phlegm, patients may try cough medications that contain guaifenesin (Robitussin, Scot-Tussin Expectorant), which loosens mucus. Patients should not suppress coughs that produce mucus and phlegm; it is important to expel this substance. To loosen phlegm, patients should drink plenty of fluids and use a humidifier or steamer.Take paracetamol to control fever, aches and pains (adults can use aspirin). Early use of antiviral medication may shorten the length and severity of illness. Consult a doctor to discuss treatment.