Pharmacists help differentiate them

he Common cold, flu and COVID-19 They have similar symptoms. All three diseases are viral respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms but different characteristics. Being able to recognize the symptoms of each disease and distinguish them is crucial to taking appropriate measures.

With the arrival of cold weather, colds and flu are multiplying. Respiratory viruses perform better when mercury levels drop. These infectious agents have a lipid coating that makes them more resistant to cold. Therefore, in cold environments with less humidity, they have a better chance of survival and can spread more easily. Added to this are immune and social factors. At low temperatures, the nasal mucosa will dry out and its protective barrier function will be weakened; on the other hand, humans change outdoor space into indoor space.

Evaristo TroianoHahn College of Pharmacists Office of Pharmacy members offer some keys for learning to differentiate between the flu, colds and COVID-19; also Advice and medicines This allows for better recovery, in addition to preventing the spread of these diseases.

Is it a cold, flu or COVID-19?

Differentiating between the common cold, the flu, and COVID-19 can sometimes be complicated because you have some symptoms in common. “Typically, at the pharmacy we ask if they have a runny or stuffy nose, a sore throat or headache, a cough, a general feeling of being unwell…but all of that Symptoms are common to the flu, colds and COVID-19” Troiano explained.

In the case of colds, although they are also caused by viruses and can be spread to other people, symptoms are usually mild and are usually limited to watery eyes and a stuffy nose. Without runny nose, there is no cold.. The pharmacist clarified, “If in addition to previous symptoms, the person is sneezing but does not have a fever, then they may fall into the cold category and do not have the flu or COVID-19.” Generally speaking, symptoms appear gradually, during In some cases the disease goes into remission.

However, with influenza and COVID-19, self-diagnosis becomes complicated. “In these cases, patients typically have a fever, which can be moderate or high. They also often complain of muscle pain, poor health, and fatigue, and they also comment that these symptoms come on suddenly,” Troyano said, And added: “But in the case of COVID-19, in some cases, the symptoms are much more obvious. , which Loss of taste or smell“.

There are currently no specific official indications for influenza, colds and COVID-19. Each pharmacy will exercise its own judgment. “They have some symptoms in common, they have some unique signs, and at the end, we fill out the database and see what each person has or doesn’t have,” he said.

Combined testing and flu testing

Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 (SARS-Cov-2) spread in similar ways. Infected people may even have no symptoms or have symptoms subside, but they can continue to spread the disease. In any case, pharmacies recommend testing to rule out any Combined self-diagnostic testsAdditionally, they can diagnose SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and B viruses, or co-infections. “We recommend them over traditional ones, and currently recommend them more. Ultimately, it costs the same as a COVID-19 test, and on top of that it indicates the presence of another infection. “It’s a great deal,” Evaris Evaristo Troyano said.

As for drug Logically, the range changes based on the symptoms the patient is experiencing at any given time. “If you have a headache or muscle pain, take an analgesic or antipyretic medicine, respectively. If you complain of nasal congestion, the best thing to do is usually to use a topical-acting spray that, when poured into the nose, stops the secretion . But if the mucus is not concentrated in the nose but in the throat or lungs, some mucolytic agents in syrups or effervescent tablets can work well.” Pharmacist Hahn listed in the School of Pharmacy Office a member of.

When several symptoms appear at the same time and there is a general feeling of discomfort, he went on to elaborate, “There are typical symptoms influenza Helps relieve symptoms. ” These over-the-counter medicines are formulated with different active ingredients: “They contain acetaminophen and often chlorpheniramine for a runny nose or phenylephrine as a decongestant. Others sometimes take ibuprofen instead of paracetamol. Others, aspirin…some even contain vitamin C or caffeine. “

Regardless, carrying tissues is necessary and most importantly, wear mask If you get a positive result on a self-diagnostic test. Finally, it must be clear that antibiotics have no effect in treating common colds caused by viral infections: “We have to eliminate this belief once and for all,” Troiano concludes.

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