Linctagon And Linctagon-C Cold Remedies For Flu Symptoms
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What is a cold?

 

The common cold is the illness that most often strikes the human body. On average adults contract it two to four times a year while children can get colds from three to eight times a year.

A cold is a mild viral infection of the upper or lower respiratory system (consisting of the nose, throat, ears and lungs). There are more than 200 different virus types that cause the common cold, which occurs when a virus infects the mucous membranes in the respiratory system.

Common cold symptoms

 

Colds start slowly and progress over time. Symptoms are not radical and most colds are over within about five days.

Typical symptoms include:

 

  • A clogged nose (nasal stuffiness)
  • A runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • The tell-tale sign of a full-blown cold is a watery and then a darker yellowish discharge.

What is the flu?

 

Flu can be described as a highly infectious respiratory disease characterised by inflammation of the nose, throat, ears or lungs. It is caused by strains of three major viruses usually referred to as Influenza A, B, and C. Type A is the most common.

In fact, the swine flu virus (H1N1) falls into this category. Flu is contracted in much the same way as the common cold. It is transmitted from one person to another by direct or indirect contact.

Flu symptoms

 

With flu symptoms the onset is faster than colds. Symptoms take from one to three days to develop and the disease can spread rapidly. It takes five to seven days to overcome but recovery can take as long as one to two weeks.

 

Fever and other more severe symptoms distinguish flu from colds and include:

  • Body aches and pains
  • Chills
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Flushed face
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Exhaustion
  • Stuffy, congested nose
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sudden fever of 38 to 40°C
  • Dry chesty cough
  • Sore throat and sneezing

How you get colds and flu

 

Cold and flu viruses are passed on from one person to another by direct or indirect contact. Direct contact occurs when the sufferer sneezes. Tiny droplets of fluid containing the cold virus launch into the air and are breathed in by a non-sufferer. Indirect contact occurs when you touch a door handle or a rail on which a cold sufferer has already deposited the virus after sneezing or coughing.

Tips to avoid getting colds and flu

 

Limit your risk by:

  • Using a tissue (not a hanky) to wipe your nose and throw it away after use
  • Sneezing into a tissue and cover your mouth and nose when sneezing
  • Washing your hands regularly (soap and disinfectants can inactivate the virus)
  • Not sharing food or sharing eating utensils
  • Not putting your hands on escalator rails in shopping malls
  • Trying to avoid contact with infected people in the first two to four days
  • Trying to avoid crowded places
  • In winter particularly, keeping warm and moving around at home to keep your body temperature up
  • Drinking water at regular intervals when travelling
  • Not touching your face
  • Take over the counter medicine for your symptoms to reduce fever in the case of flu (avoid alcohol when taking medication)

 

What to do if you get colds or flu?

 

Make sure that you drink plenty of clear fluids (water and clear, pure fruity juice) to help your body to fight the infection. Get plenty of rest and do not overexert yourself. Eat nutritional, light meals that are low in fat, high in fibre and contain plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

 

Should you take antibiotics?

 

A virus is a microorganism (a very small organism), much smaller than bacteria. A virus can only reproduce in a living body cell whereas bacteria can live independently (grow and reproduce on their own). Unlike bacteria, viral infections such as colds and flu cannot be countered or cured by antibiotics. Rather, your body’s immune system must counter a viral infection. What’s more, using antibiotics to prevent the onset of a secondary bacterial infection is also not a good idea because it kills the good bacteria in the body; the absence of which could result in nausea, diarrhoea and vaginal yeast infections. The over-use of antibiotics can also lead to drug resistant bacterial infections, often referred to as super infections.

 

When should you see your doctor?

 

You should consult your doctor if, once you seem to have recovered, you suddenly display any of the following symptoms:

 

  • High fever
  • Intense chills
  • Chest pains
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sinus
  • Yellow or green cough discharge

 

You should also consult your general practitioner if you suffer from a chronic condition such as:

 

  • Heart, lung, kidney or liver disease
  • If your immune system is compromised or
  • If you fall within a high risk group (babies, elderly or frail)

 

People in high-risk groups are often advised to get flu injections before the onset of winter. Discuss this option with your doctor.

 

Please Note: This is an information only article and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. For more information on colds and flu, their diagnosis and treatment, speak to your healthcare provider.