Every year, in winter, the dreaded flu epidemic arrives, a disease as contagious as it is exhausting because those who suffer from it are forced to lie in bed, eaten by viruses.
Sometimes we tend to label common colds or colds as flu because they are very annoying, however, they are different diseases and involve different treatments. To get out of doubts we explain how to differentiate the flu from a cold in children and adults and what is the best treatment today in both cases.
On our site we have already received alerts and press releases from different health organizations, pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers warning that the flu epidemic has arrived. So much so that where it starts, cases double in a matter of days and health emergencies collapse.
However, some of these patients return home with another diagnosis: rhinopharyngitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, common cold ... And, although a cold makes us feel bad, we have some fever and we are exhausted, we should not confuse it with a flu. The table that we present will help you to differentiate in a very visual and simple way the flu from a cold in children and adults.
The cold is a mild infection of the nose and throat caused by different types of viruses, while the flu, although it is also viral, is caused by the influenza virus. Colds are present throughout the year although in summer they have less incidence, but the flu usually makes an appearance in November and ends at the beginning of spring.
The diagnosis of the flu is made through a laboratory test, performing blood tests or a culture of the exudate of the pharynx. It is rarely done, so doctors often diagnose flu based on the patient's symptoms.
- The onset of it is usually gradual, the child is feeling bad little by little and symptoms appear in a matter of days.
- It does not usually present with a fever or this may be a low-grade fever In adults, in the case of children, high fever can be a symptom of another disease such as otitis or angina.
- It can cause a sore and sore throat.
- The common cold is accompanied by nasal congestion, sneezing and coughing.
- In 3 or 5 days the child or adult will feel better.
- The onset has been abrupt and sudden, the symptoms start intensely and quickly.
- The child or adult has a fever above 38.5º.
- The flu is accompanied by severe muscle aches, intense headaches, back, eyes and throat can also occur.
- Nasal congestion or coughing does not always occur.
- The flu causes such physical fatigue that it prevents the performance of daily tasks.
- It lasts a week or can even be prolonged.
With three children and for some strange reason, very prone to viral diseases, I usually go to the pediatrician's office a lot. So much so that I have a lesson well learned, this is what they have been recommending to me for 10 years that I am a mother ...
The first rule is clear: being a viral disease, antibiotics are of no use, although it is possible that the pediatrician prescribes them if they appear diseases derived from the accumulation of mucus such as otitis.
The bad news is that there is no medicine capable of ending a cold or flu Suddenly, the good news is that we have painkillers that can alleviate the symptoms.
Pediatricians and GPs recommend:
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Carry out nasal washes with physiological saline or sea water.
- Raise the head of the bed at night.
- Use a humidifier so that the environment is not so dry, especially in winter with the heating, thus increasing the humidity.
Pediatricians and GPs do not recommend:
- Lower fever in a systematic way, fever is the defense of our body against viruses, if we eliminate it from the equation based on antipyretics, we are leaving the field fertilized so that the cold lasts longer.
- Taking cough suppressants, in addition to its limited effect, is a useful and necessary defense mechanism to be able to heal well from flu and colds. If we stop coughing, the mucus will most likely be trapped in our lungs.
- Do not use mucolytics. Scientific evidence has not shown them to be more helpful than drinking water.
You can read more articles similar to Table to differentiate flu from a cold in children and adults, in the category of Children's Diseases on site