You’re sneezing, your head hurts and you have fever. Although we often confuse common cold with flu, you have to know that both of them are contagious viral infections caused by viruses from different families and that they have different symptoms.
Usually, cold has easily bearable symptoms that disappear after four five days. The flu is much more serious when it affects old people or those who suffer from a chronic disease. If there are no complications, the symptoms disappear in five, ten days.
You have a cold if you cough, have throat pains and a slight fever and runny nose. In case you have high fever, strong headaches and a very runny nose, you cough your hands, feet hurt, and you feel extremely tired, you have influenza (flu).
The viruses that cause common cold are different from those that cause flu and they are contacted through nose and mouth. Flu viruses get into the blood; they multiply quickly and spread in the entire body.
How You Can Reduce the Symptoms
The best way of getting rid of viruses is to take pills. Paracetamol and aspirin are efficient in fighting against fever and headaches. Beware, because small children may develop the Reye syndrome, a very sever neurological disease if they take aspirin or other pills that contain aspirin. It’s better for them to take paracetamol.
Take decongestants but do not exaggerate. Saline nasal drops are efficient but they must be used only for a short period. Used more than six days, it irritates the nasal mucous leading to allergy to pills or chronic nasal congestion. There are pills and syrups with decongestant effect. You may try this trick: have a long warm bath and inhale the steam, drink many hot fluids and use a humidifier.
Use over-the-counter medication because they are mucolytic and decongestants or cough suppressant in the same time. Their efficiency is sometimes limited but it’s better to choose those with unique action in order to eliminate the specific symptom that bothers you: cough suppressant for getting rid of the cough, decongestants for stuffy nose. Ask the doctor’s advice.
Sleep as much as you can. If it’s possible, take a few days off and rest. This will make you feel better and you will recover much quickly and, besides, you will not spread the virus.
Drink extra fluids, especially hot drinks. It will help you with your runny nose and protects you from the dehydration caused by fever.
If you have flu, you definitely don’t have appetite. Eat light soups, toasted bread, stewed apples, cow cheese, smash potatoes, vegetables, boiled rice and easy to chew and digest foods.
In order to relive your sore throat and stuffy nose, gargle with salty water. Mix 5 ml of salt with 1/5 l of warm water. Be careful not to swallow the water!
Protect your nose. Because you use many handkerchiefs, the skin becomes reed and irritated. Hydrate it with moisturizer.
Take good care of you. Don’t stay out in the cold, don’t make physical efforts, take the pills doctor gave you, eat and rest. Take syrups or pills to ease your sore throat, use a warm pillow, friction yourself with mint alcohol, and have hot feet baths.
Beware of the fact that antibiotics have no effect on flu or cold because they are viral infections, caused by viruses.