Cold and flu
Now that Summer has ended it’s time to get wrapped up and ready for winter.
With the cold weather comes the dreaded colds and flues. So it’s time to get prepared.
Colds and Influenza are viral infections that can be passed from person to person in a number of ways. In the flu season it is important to take precautions to reduce your chances of getting it and spreading it if you’ve got it. Precautions that you can take are:
- Coughing or sneezing into a tissue
- Throwing used tissues away as soon as possible – binning it.
- Washing your hands as soon as possible
- Having a flu jab once a year if you are an at risk patient.
When it comes to Cold and Flu it is important to familiarise yourself with the symptoms as to get the appropriate treatment.
The most common symptoms of a common cold are:
- Runny nose, either clear or green mucus
- Blocked nose
- Sore throat
- A cough
Other symptoms such as headaches are quite common with a cold, but of the symptoms take 2-3 days to develop and you tend to gradually get better in a few days.
For Flu the symptoms vary from a common cold and the onset of them is a lot quicker. Look out for:
- Sudden fever
- Muscular aches and pains
- Dry or chesty cough
Flu symptoms usually take a week or so to recover fully from, however other people take longer.
Because the symptoms of both colds and flu can be similar it is difficult sometimes to differentiate between the two. For either a cold or flu it is advised that you seek medical help if you have a chronic condition such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, as you may be eligible for a flu jab and you may need to be monitored.
There are many different treatments for cold and flu but most if not all only help alleviate the symptoms rather than dealing with the infection. This is because the infection is viral and the only way to get rid of it is for your body to produce antibodies that will eradicate the virus. Antibiotics will not help.
If you are ever worried about your health or would like a flu jab, speak to your GP or local pharmacist for advice.