Flu Season: What Are the Differences Between Common Cold Symptoms?

influenzausually with simple cold, posing a major threat to public health, especially for the most vulnerable groups such as children under 5 years old and adults over 60 years old. This condition, although common, only poses a risk to the Mexican population during the current season. The 2023-2024 influenza season started in the country in early October last year and will end in mid-May, with 7,852 positive cases registered, including 267 people diedaccording to official data.

José de Jesus Corea Lorenzo, The term “flu” is often used to refer to the poorly treated common cold, caused by rhinoviruses, of which there are more than 80 types, infectious disease doctors and experts on the subject detailed in interviews with the Mexican Herald.But actually, it might be influenza.

This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Photo: Dall-e.

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

Although the common cold andinfluenza They share some symptoms, but there are also clear differences. The second condition is characterized by more severe headaches, muscle pain, fatigue, and fever, which are more common and severe symptoms. Unlike the common cold, it usually does not cause loss of taste or smell.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says influenza is spread by influenza A, B, C and D, but seasonal epidemics are caused by influenza A and B viruses.

Seeing a doctor is always the best option. Photos: Free images.

What are the symptoms of influenza?

  • Sudden high fever, between 38 and 39 degrees
  • Muscle pain
  • dry cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “People at higher risk of serious illness or complications are pregnant women, children under five years of age, older adults, and patients with chronic medical conditions (cardiac, pulmonary, renal, metabolic, neurodevelopmental, hepatic, or blood disorders). ) or immunosuppression (due to HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy, corticosteroids, or malignancy).”

What steps can be taken to prevent the flu?

” Cornerstone Prevent influenza No doubt, yes Vaccination. Not only does it reduce the likelihood of contracting the disease, but it also ensures that if you do contract the disease, your illness will be mild. In addition, we have antiviral drugs that, while they cannot replace vaccines, can provide an additional line of defense in situations where vaccines are in short supply,” said the HIV Infection Consensus Coordinator. Coronavirus disease.

Experts point out that this protective measure can be applied from the age of six months and, in addition, measures including frequent hand washing, use of masks and physical distancing are effective strategies not only against COVID-19 but also against influenza.

Advice for dealing with Covid-19 also applies to influenza. Photos: Free images.

according to WHOSeasonal flu spreads easily and quickly in places like schools and nursing homes. “When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spread infectious droplets into the air (Virus) and therefore can infect those nearby. The virus can also be spread through contaminated hands. To prevent the spread, you must wash your hands frequently and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough. “He said.

The incubation period (the time between infection and onset of illness) is approximately two days, but may be between one and four days.

The worst-case scenario is being in a closed, poorly ventilated space with a sick person. The potential for transmission in this situation is high and could lead to an increase in the number of cases. Influenza can be fatal, especially if it is not treated promptly or if the patient becomes sicker.

Is it safe to get the flu vaccine?

“The flu vaccine is safe and effective. It is better to prevent serious illness than to face its complications. I urge everyone, especially parents and people in high-risk groups, to get vaccinated. We are still in the pandemic season and there is time to protect yourself,” National Institute of Pediatrics ( INP), a pediatric infectious disease specialist.

It does not represent any risk. Photos: Free images.

The problem is reportedly more serious than it seems According to data from the World Health Organization, there are approximately one billion cases of seasonal influenza each year; of these, three to five million are severe; of these, 290,650,000 die from respiratory illnesses. The World Health Organization says: “99% of deaths from influenza-related lower respiratory tract infections in children under five occur in developing countries.”

How is influenza treated?

Corea Lorenzo He assured that there are now prescription drugs to treat influenza, such as baloxavir and baloxavir, which are included in international treatment guidelines in more than 50 countries, including Mexico. This is a powerful, world-first authorized single-dose antiviral drug to treat influenza that inhibits viral replication, meaning additional help for doctors and benefiting patients.

Experts say single dose can disrupt replication cycle influenza virusreducing viral load, improving and relieving symptoms from the first 24 hours, this is suitable for patients over 12 years of age and prophylaxis, i.e. taking precautions when disease is suspected of contracting the virus through exposure.

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