Colds and Flu
Whenever the flu and cold season arrive, the media is full of various suggestions on what to do if you notice yourself getting sick.
Some suggestions are traditional, others are just funny, but most of them are myths that don’t work. Let’s explain some of them.
I Have A Cold Because I Was In The Cold, Therefore I’m Not Contagious
Let’s start with the fact that any cold is an infection caused by a virus or bacteria. Any! Your immunity succumbed, and the viruses won the game.
The connection to the cold is only so great that in the cold the immune defenses decrease, so the viruses have a better chance to manifest themselves and do their evil deeds.
And maybe in the cold, people gather more in warm rooms and share their infections with each other. However, the cold itself does not cause disease, so such a “I’m not contagious” cold does not exist.
You Are Not Contagious if You Don’t Have a Fever
There is also a myth that you are dangerous to others only as long as you have a fever and a high temperature.
In most cases it could be – the first 2-3 days of illness are more dangerous, which usually coincides with the worst feeling and the highest temperature.
However, sometimes the temperature can appear in the middle or at the end of the disease, and depending on the virus or bacteria, the stickiness can last for up to 10 days.
Take special care if you are in contact with pregnant women, young children or the elderly – their immune systems are often more susceptible to various bacilli, and a small amount may be enough.
If You Are Ill, Avoid Dairy Products
We believe it that dairy products make you “slimy” (whatever that means). So, it makes your body produce more mucus as runny nose and sputum.
This is not the case – dairy products can make existing mucus a little thicker and more irritating.
However, the bacteria in kefir will help your body feel better after taking the medicine, and various cream soups and puddings, including ice cream, are foods that are extremely pleasant to eat when I can’t swallow something harder because of a sore throat.
Colds Can Turn Into the Flu
So it doesn’t really work that way. If you have rhinovirus, then you get a cold and a gorgeous flood of the nose.
If you have the flu, you will experience all the symptoms of the flu. One virus cannot become another, just as a cat cannot become a dog.
However, colds can weaken the immune system, which can cause you to catch the flu virus during or shortly after a cold.
Like dog owners, they often become owners of cats. It happens. If you do not know how to distinguish flu from colds.
The Flu is Nothing Serious
For a healthy person with a strong immune system, the flu may do nothing too bad, although it will be very, very unpleasant – often flu patients say that they felt so bad that they were ready to write a will.
However the flu is a deadly disease. For example, in 2016, 70 people died of influenza in Latvia. Imagine the deaths of 70 people in an accident or catastrophe – this would be one of the most tragic accidents in the history of Latvia.
But the 70 people who died from the virus do not cause anyone any special emotions. The statistics are harsh, so please get vaccinated!
If You Have the Flu, You Have Nothing To Worry About This Year
Unfortunately, the flu is caused by several types of the virus every year. If you have the flu, you will be immune to the type you have caught, but others can still make you sick.
A weakened body of the flu may also be susceptible to, for example, pneumonia. Therefore, vigilance must not be lost!
Temperature, That’s Bad
In fact, temperatures up to 38 degrees are good and help the body fight viruses (which don’t like high temperatures).
Of course, 37.3 is the most disgusting temperature in terms of well-being, but as long as you can tolerate it, it would be well not to touch it.
Above 38 degrees you can start thinking about an antipyretic and definitely do not let it above 40 degrees – after reaching 41 degrees from the elevated temperature may cause irreversible damage.
Wet Hair or an Uncovered Head Will Cause Colds and Meningitis
Although wet hair without a hat will be cold and uncomfortable, and it can contribute to the cooling of the body and a general decrease in immunity, nothing particularly crazy will happen.
Especially for meningitis, meningitis is an inflammation of the lining of the brain caused by bacteria, not simply “wet head”.
Zinc Will Help Prevent Disease
Some studies have shown that zinc-containing lozenges can relieve the symptoms of colds and shorten the duration of illness, but this evidence is still quite inconclusive.
Especially for zinc products intended for the nose – they can cause permanent loss of taste and smell (although this does not apply to various tablets or lozenges).
If You Have a Cold, Eat. If You Have a Fever, It is Better to Avoid Food.
In either case, you need as much fluid as possible. The amount of food depends on your appetite – if you want to eat, eat safely.
If there is no appetite at all, do not force, but try to eat something a little – fasting will hardly help the recovery process.
A good way to combine this is spicy soups – they will both relieve painful symptoms and recharge your fluid reserves.
If You Feel Unwell for More Than a Few Days, Take Antibiotics
Once and for all: Drinking antibiotics only makes sense if you have a bacterial infection. Antibiotics do not work on viruses! Like not at all.
So there is no point in torturing yourself with antibiotics, such as the flu. What you definitely need to do if you feel bad for several days and no over-the-counter medication helps – see a doctor.
Because, of course, it can always happen that bad bacteria inhabit you against the background of the virus. However, let doctor judge it, alright?
Vitamin C Helps You Recover Faster
Unfortunately, scientists have refuted this. Vitamin C in high doses may slightly ease the symptoms of the disease – although this is not clear to scientists.
In addition, high doses are useless – because vitamin C is soluble in water, it does not accumulate in the body, so a large part of the giant dose will simply be excreted.
Ginger Tea is Good for Colds
That’s right, but just as valuable is mint, linden, black tea or just warm water. Ginger itself does not really help, apart from the taste.
If ginger is what your taste buds like and will allow you to drink more fluids – drink to health!