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Cold and flu

Know the symptoms of a common cold and flu, how they differ and how good hygiene can help protect you and your family from the germs that cause them.

Common Cold and Flu

Learn the symptoms of a common cold and flu, how they differ and how good hygiene can help protect you and your family from the germs that cause them.

Causes of cold and flu

Common cold and flu are caused by viruses that are transmitted from person to person. Ways you can get a cold and flu include:

  • Breathing in tiny droplets that contain viruses that spread through the air every time someone with a cold or flu sneezes, coughs, or speaks.
  • Touching contaminated surfaces, such as tissue used by an infected person, door handles, handrails and telephones, and then touching your nose or eyes.

Symptoms of cold and flu

What is the difference between a common cold and the flu?

It's hard to say sometimes. Many of the symptoms are the same and both are caused by viruses and not bacteria, which means you can't treat cold and flu with antibiotics. The symptoms of a cold are usually milder than those caused by the flu, and they do not cause the serious health complications that can result from the flu.

A Look at the Common Cold

Common cold is a viral infection that affects the upper respiratory tract. These causes include rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza virus, adenovirus and corona. Symptoms can appear within 10-12 hours after exposure and may include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat or hoarseness
  • cough
  • Sneezing
  • Low grade fever (mostly in young children)

Flu at a glance

There are three types of flu virus. Type A viruses are the causes of most cases of human flu and any disease in animals. B types are rare and cause less serious illness. Type C viruses usually cause only mild flu and are rare. Flu symptoms are more severe than symptoms of the common cold and may include:

  • Sudden fever (usually 39 °C or above)
  • Dry cough
  • Muscle tightness
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)

How long is the flu contagious?

The incubation period for the flu typically lasts 1-3 days from exposure. If you get a flu infection, you can infect someone a day before you develop symptoms, and sometimes symptoms appear up to five days after they occur. This means that before you know you have the flu, you can pass it on to someone else.

Most people make a full recovery from the flu, but it can cause complications including bronchitis, pneumonia, and, in rare cases, meningitis.

Prevention Tips for Cold and flu 

How can cleanliness protect against cold and flu?

Good hygiene can prevent cold in the home and prevent cold and the spread of flu viruses.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing,
  • Discard used tissue and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
  • If you don't have soap and water, use Dettol wipes or hand sanitizer
  • If You do not have soap and water, then use hand Sanitizer.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect the surfaces that are frequently touched especially such as the door handle, handrails and taps.
  • Avoid being near people who have cold or flu.

When someone has a cold or flu

Stay at home and stay away from others. Drink plenty of fluids in the form of water. If necessary, take ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve symptoms. Ensure a high standard of cleanliness.

Myths and Truths 

Will the flu jab affect my baby while I'm pregnant?

No it won't. When you're pregnant, you get the flu. You can get very sick, which can be bad for your baby. What's more, taking the jab at any time during pregnancy will help protect your baby from the flu during the first few months after birth.

Shall I get a cold if I go out with wet hair or clothes?

Our grandmothers and mothers always tell us, but as long as you haven't come into contact with someone who has a cold or flu, or you come in contact with a contaminated surface or food, you don't get a cold. You will only feel chill, but will be completely healthy.

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