All of us have experienced catching the common cold at one time or another. There are some who have colds for days and days. There are those who have colds for only a day and are cured the next day. Common colds are called common, not because anyone can catch them (which is true) but because you can have a cold at anytime of the year, during hot summer months and during cold winters.
The common cold does not come from the weather. We may become more susceptible to catching colds because of the effects the weather has on our bodies. If the body cannot handle the cold weather, it weakens, allowing the cold virus to come in and infect the person.
Flu is an infection caused by the influenza virus. It affects the nose, throat and lungs. Young children, pregnant women, older people and sick people with chronic problems can get sick with the influenza virus.
Airborne viruses are very contagious. They are strewn across the air by someone who is already sick. An aggressive virus may latch on to your weakened physique and quickly multiply within the body. Common cold symptoms can be seen within 2 or 3 days of contamination. But during these 2-3 days of contamination, you can already transmit the virus to someone else.
More than 100 different types of viruses that can cause a cold exist. Some of these viruses can cause flu symptoms. Here are ways on how to recognize flu symptoms.
- Flu has several symptoms that come swiftly and severely, some of which include: fever with chills and profuse sweating and a loss of appetite.
- A fever that reaches 102-103 degrees Fahrenheit is usually a sign that there is flu present in the body so be sure to take the patient's temperature.
- There is a constant, persistent headache that is bothersome but manageable.
- A feeling of tiredness envelops the body and eats at its strength.
- The patient has a dry cough that doesn't go away.
- The patient's throat is sore and his nose is runny or stuffy.
- The patient's muscles ache.
- Stomach symptoms like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea occur.
Flu viruses spread fast. The virus spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or when you touch an infected object then touch your mouth or nose. Although the regular contagious stage is within 2-3 days of contracting the virus, adults are known to pass on the infection even after 5 days.
You can protect yourself from getting the flu virus by staying away from people who are sick. If someone in your household or office is sick with the flu, don't get too near him. If you haven't had a flu vaccination yet, you could choose to get one as a precaution.
If you have the flu, remember to use a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to throw your used tissues properly in the wastebasket and to wash your hands always, especially after coughing or sneezing.