Influenza and Colds or also knowing in Indonesian as a pilek are very common diseases in humans. Often confused between the two, there are actually differences between the influenza and the cold that you may not have known about. What’s the difference between influenza and cold?
The difference between influenza and cold
Both colds and influenza are diseases caused by an infection of the respiratory tract. Although the viruses have different causes, the two diseases can have similar symptoms, making it difficult to tell the difference between the two. Influenza can be much more severe than a cold and can potentially cause life-threatening complications. So, it is important to know the difference so that you can treat it in the most appropriate way.
How to distinguish cold and influenza
Although similar, there are several characteristics of colds and influenza that can be distinguished. In general, influenza symptoms are more severe and last longer than colds. Here are the differences between influenza and colds when viewed from the symptoms which are ininfluenzaenced by a person’s age and health status:
Symptoms such as runny nose, stuffy nose, or sneezing are rare in people with influenza. Usually, influenza sufferers will experience symptoms such as sore throat, fever, cough that appears suddenly, headache, pain in several parts of the body, and fatigue that lasts for several days. Meanwhile, influenza symptoms in children are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain.
In cold sufferers, the symptoms that often occur are a runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, and mild to moderate cough. Symptoms such as pain, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting are rare in people with colds. Even if they appear, only mild symptoms. In addition, people with colds usually don’t have a fever.
What is an influenza?
There are three types of influenza viruses, namely: influenza A, influenza B, and influenza C. Influenza viruses spread in the same way as cold viruses, that is, when you are contaminated with droplets of an infected person. The transmission period lasts between one day after contracting to 7 days later at which time you may already show influenza symptoms. Unlike a cold, the influenza can develop into a more serious condition, such as pneumonia, especially in groups of patients with the following conditions:
- Little child
- Pregnant women
- People with health conditions whose immune systems are weaker, such as asthma, heart disease, or diabetes
How to treat influenza?
The majority of people who have the influenza usually don’t need medical treatment because they get better on their own. The most important thing for people with influenza is to stay at home to avoid contact with other people in order to prevent the spread of the disease. However, if you feel that the symptoms are bothering you, you can try the following treatment options:
- Pharmacy drugs
You can use fever-reducing drugs such as paracetamol to relieve fever.
- Prescription antiviral drugs
Antiviral drugs are usually prescribed by doctors for groups of influenza sufferers who are at high risk of serious complications because usually normal treatments will not be effective in this group. Generally, antivirals are given to infants under 2 years of age, people aged 65 years and over, and pregnant women.
- Home remedies
To relieve symptoms, home remedies can be done such as doing steam inhalation, eating nutritious foods such as chicken soup, always keeping body warm, and other things that can provide comfort.
What is a cold?
The common cold is an upper respiratory tract infection caused by a virus. Colds or what is more commonly known in Indonesian as a (pilek) is a group of different viruses that can reduce immunity, one of which is the Rhinovirus. Rhinovirus is the virus that most often makes people sneeze and runny when they have a cold. This type of virus is highly contagious. Although you can catch a cold at any time of the year, colds are more common during cold weather, such as the rainy season or winter. That’s because most cold-causing viruses thrive in weather with low humidity, and colds can also be caused by allergies. If you have an allergy to dust, pollen, animal dander, or air, then you will get a cold when exposed to these allergens. A cold is spread when an infected person sneezes or coughs, the droplets of sneezing and coughing can fly through the air and stick to various surfaces. You can catch it if you touch a surface such as a table or doorknob that has recently been touched or is exposed to the sneeze of an infected person. The timing of transmission occurs within the first two to four days after exposure.
How to treat colds?
Because colds are viral infections, antibiotics will not be effective for treating them. However, over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, acetaminophen, and NSAIDs, can relieve cold symptoms such as congestion, pain, and other symptoms. Drink lots of influenzaids to avoid dehydration. Some people use natural remedies, such as zinc, vitamin C, or echinacea to prevent colds from getting worse. found that high doses of zinc lozenges (about 80 mg) can shorten the duration you have a cold if taken within 24 hours of cold symptoms. Vitamin C doesn’t actually prevent a cold, but if you take it consistently, it’s likely that the usual symptoms will appear. reduced. Meanwhile, according to a study, vitamin D has been shown to help protect the body against colds and influenza. If the methods above have been done but within 7 to 10 days your cold does not heal, contact your doctor immediately.
Stop the spread of influenza and viruses this way
If you have the influenza or cold, it is very important that you take steps to minimize the risk of spreading the virus to other people, especially those who are at high risk of serious complications. Follow the steps below to reduce the risk of spreading the influenza or cold virus:
- Carry out vaccinations. in infants aged 6 months and over.
- Understand etiquette when coughing or sneezing. You can cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or with the inner elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after you sneeze or before handling food and drink.
- Stay home and avoid crowds after influenza symptoms appear. Unless your doctor recommends otherwise, home is the best place to stay in the meantime if you have the influenza or cold. By staying at home, you limit contact with other people and can reduce transmission of the virus.