Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalisations.
Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can tell if a person has the flu.
The symptoms of flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness). Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems.
The influenza virus is transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets disseminated during sneezing, coughing and talking. The incubation period of influenza is one to four days and infected adults are usually contagious from the day before the onset of symptoms until five days after the symptoms began. The signs and symptoms of uncomplicated influenza usually resolve within a week, although a cough and fatigue may persist.
Complications include otitis media, bacterial sinusitis, secondary bacterial pneumonia, and, less commonly, viral pneumonia and respiratory failure. Complications are also caused by escalation of underlying disease. The risk of hospitalisation is highest in people 65 years and older, in very young children and in those with chronic medical conditions.
Some tips to help prevention & aid healing:
- Wash hands frequently
- Avoid contamination- avoid close contact with sick people; avoid touching eyes, hands and mouth; keep frequently touched objects and surfaces clean
- Stay well with good lifestyle habits- enough sleep; healthy eating; stress management and being physically active
- Stay home when you are sick
Homeopathy, however, has a lot to offer, both in the prevention and treatment of influenza.
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