Common Cold or Flu or seasonal influenza
Many of us waking up in the morning and feel upper respiratory tract or throat (Pharynx & Larynx) is hurting. We feel our nostrils are blocked and it’s difficult to breathe through nose (which we do normally). There is slight change in mood because our appetite is gone, body temperature has raised. Our voice is dull as well as it hurts when we talk. We now know that there is something wrong with our upper respiratory tract, i.e. we have developed flu.
Why we get common cold?
Usually when the season is changing mostly the transition period from winter into summer and summer into winter, the temperature of environment becomes suitable for infectious germs to grow and increase in number to many folds. We become more susceptible to get cold. Mostly when someone susceptible gets an infection (common cold or flu) it’s just a beginning.
Usually I found that most of the people express it with a delay or when they are asked upon the question “why your voice feels changed? “and the would reply “I got cold “. They sneeze in front of you, apparently, they are using tissue paper or a handkerchief to stop the tiny invisible droplets from spreading in the environment but somehow the make a delay in doing so or the tiny droplets escape from being stopped. This sneezing happens multiple times consecutively so it’s hard to help it.
Furthermore, infected person drinks and eats with family members or may travel in public transport. The person become potential source of infection for huge number of people and the germs are using him as a secret weapon for their survival. Many other people get infected with the germs during the same day, but they do not show any signs of cold until the number of germs in their body are sufficient to harm their body or initiate immune response.
Now the outbreak of the common cold will occur during next two weeks the that closed group of people or in that specified region. As number of people travel to other places within the cities so infection spreads accordingly. That explains the reason that you would have hardly be saved from getting cold during each season.
What are the causes of flu or common cold?
Common cold is usually harmless but my cause discomfort for a certain period and disrupt the quality of life. Virus (Influenza). Viral flu is fatal in some cases that depends on the type of the infectious viral agent that have gained access into your body. Nowadays influenza virus of birds has been found to infect human host also. After Developing flu our body initiate immune response. Due to active flu infection immune system is already fighting with viruses the opportunistic bacteria also attack our body. This enhances the severity of the problem because our body fails to fight both at the same time.
Researchers from Medical University of Vienna have told that a bacteria legionella pneumophila in such circumstances succeed to cause pneumonia (which is an inflammation of lungs) a lower respiratory tract infection. Now that our upper respiratory tract is occupied by the viruses and lower tract with the bacteria. These both work in combination can cause serious harm to lungs or even death could occur.
According to the data almost 80,000 died during 2017-18 seasonal flu in USA. According to CDC robust multinational survey have shown that estimated 291,000 to 646,000 die from seasonal influenza worldwide. Due to high risk of spread of infection U.S has called for mass vaccination program to protect people from seasonal influenza for 2018-2019. They recommend that the best way to prevent influenza is to get vaccinated.
Signs and Symptoms:
There is difference between common cold and flu, but they have one thing in common and that is presence of respiratory tract infection in both. These both are caused by different types of viruses. Generally, flu is more dangerous than common cold, but signs and symptoms resemble a lot. It’s very difficult to differentiate between them until disease specific test have been conducted.
Common symptoms may include, Fever, runny or stuffy nose, body pain, headaches, fatigue etc. Common cold may recover by itself within a week or two weeks. Flu is persistent infection which may lead to the development of secondary bacterial infection like pneumonia. During secondary bacterial infection a person may experience mucus filled trachea and coughing, lower chest infection.
Treatment and Control
- When you are not feeling healthy it’s important to see a doctor first without wasting any time.
- Doctor may recommend you some antibiotics to prevent secondary bacterial infections.
- Taking painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs may also prove helpful
- Improving your nutrition (appetite) may boost your body to fight against the infection. That’s why its recommended to take soups, green tea brewed with honey, herbal medicine (have better results), The basic purpose behind this is to build the energy in your body to fight the infection.
- Keeping yourself warm and taking complete bed rest. Which would serve both purposes, it would help you recover as well as prevent the disease from spreading
- If available Early vaccination could prove helpful before the beginning of season
- There is no specific treatment for viral infections vaccination is the only way.