Flu or flu infection - what's the difference?

Flu or flu infection - what's the difference?

What distinguishes flu from a simple cold
The flu wave has started: the influenza virus is currently spreading in Germany. Many people catch an infection during the winter months. But what is the difference between a flu and a cold? What can you do about it? And when do you have to see a doctor in such cases?

Flu wave has started
Fever, body aches, chills, headache, runny nose and cough: the flu viruses are currently active again in Germany. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recently reported which regions of the country are particularly affected. During the cold season, infections also occur frequently, with symptoms that are very similar to those of influenza. If there are complaints, many first wonder whether a flu or cold is the trigger. And also whether it is necessary to go to the doctor because of the disease.

Cold is managed without medication
Medicine can not help with colds, the body can cope with it even without a doctor. Various over-the-counter medicines and numerous home remedies that can help are available to combat the annoying and unpleasant symptoms. There are proven home remedies for sore throats, home remedies for nasal congestion, or more generally home remedies for colds. As a rule, the worst is over after two to three days. "With a doctor, a cold lasts about seven days - without a doctor it takes a week," an old saying goes.

Some people should also see a doctor if they become infected
As the "Stern" writes online on the subject, some people with a cold should still see a doctor under certain circumstances. This applies to people with congenital or acquired immunodeficiency, for example caused by medication, for example as part of cancer therapy or HIV patients. Furthermore, people with a serious illness, those who have just returned from a long-distance trip and those who suffer from asthma, are advised to seek medical help. Last but not least, seniors whose defenses are weakened should also see a doctor. People from such groups should be particularly alert if the cold is different than usual or if it lasts more than a week. Caution is also advisable when there is unusually severe pain, whether in the head, neck or chest. Then it is necessary to clarify whether there might be an additional bacterial infection behind the symptoms. According to the magazine, conceivable pneumonia, purulent middle ear or sinus infection are conceivable.

Home remedies usually bring relief
At first, bronchitis is usually accompanied by hoarseness, dry, irritable cough and sometimes fever. After a short time, those affected begin to cough up phlegm. It also often hurts the chest area. Home remedies for coughs, such as honey, can provide relief. If the symptoms do not go away within a short period of time, a doctor can clarify whether there may be a pneumonia. Severe ear pain can indicate a purulent otitis media that mostly - but not exclusively - affects babies and toddlers. The disease is very painful and can have serious consequences, including hearing loss. At the latest when symptoms such as dizziness, chills and high fever develop, a doctor must be consulted. A stubborn sinus infection should be treated by a medical professional. The disease, also called chronic sinusitis, has become a common ailment in Europe. Eleven percent of the population are said to be affected. Among other things, there is pain in the area of ​​the forehead, cheeks, upper jaw or in the eyes.

The flu comes suddenly
In contrast to colds, a real flu occurs suddenly. Patients feel violently ill within a very short time. The body temperature quickly climbs to over 39 degrees for some. Here too, according to the "star", certain groups of people should seek medical advice. This should definitely be taken to heart by children - or their parents -, pregnant women and the elderly. People with chronic heart-lung diseases and chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes should also go to the doctor. Likewise, people with weakened immune systems and those who have contact with particularly vulnerable people such as infants or young children.

Natural means of self-treatment
In addition to people who can be counted among these groups, everyone else should also go to a doctor if they feel that their condition is deteriorating during the course of the flu. Signs of this include, according to the "Stern", shortness of breath, rattling noises when breathing, fever above 39 degrees Celsius, a fast pulse, unilateral pain in the chest, blue lips, bluish discolouration of the hands and face, severe, persistent nausea, swollen Almonds or itchy rash. Other alarm signs that a doctor should examine are a very severe headache, a stiff neck or a loss of consciousness. Natural remedies for self-treatment are also available for flu. Those who prefer to take medication in such cases should be particularly careful when driving. Some flu drugs can act like alcohol at the wheel, experts warn. (Ad)

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