Flu and cold: Learn the differences and learn how to protect yourself

Flu and cold: Learn the differences and learn how to protect yourself

When the cold comes, various diseases begin to manifest themselves. Colds and flu are widespread among all age groups, but in children and the elderly the consequences can be worse. Therefore, it is important to be careful.

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According to Juarez Cunha, pediatrician and president of the SBIm (Brazilian Immunization Society), the main diseases that manifest in this period are respiratory, especially infectious, which are caused by viruses and bacteria, such as colds, flu, pneumonia and sinusitis.

Difference between flu and cold

As much as the symptoms are very similar, the flu and cold are different. First, the causative agents of both are different. According to Maria Lavinea Novis of Figueiredo, a doctor of infectious diseases, the flu is caused by influenza A and B viruses. The cold is caused by more than 100 types of viruses, the main ones belonging to the rhinovirus family.

In addition to the causative agent, there are other differences between the flu and the common cold. “In the common cold, the symptoms are relatively mild, such as a sore throat mild, sneezing, stuffy nose, low fever and a little discomfort, ”describes Dr. Silvana Fahel, pediatrician, haematologist and haemotherapist. The cold usually persists for 3 to 4 days and improves spontaneously. In this case, the person is usually able to carry out their usual activities, despite the discomfort.

“The flu is different, there is a high fever, a general condition maintained, a compromise, body aches, discomfort and a headache,” says the pediatrician. Performing physical and intellectual activities is compromised and the cycle of the disease is longer. The flu can be much more severe than a cold.

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It is possible to prevent both the flu and the common cold
It is possible to prevent both the flu and the common cold

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Forms of transmission of influenza and colds

It is possible to prevent both the flu and the common cold. In both cases, the transmission is made from person to person through drops of saliva, sneezing, coughing, sharing contaminated objects, contaminated surfaces and even shaking hands, explains Maria Lavinea Novis of Figueiredo.

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How to protect yourself from these diseases

One of the great facilitators of transmission is the agglomeration of people in closed environments, adds pediatrician Silvana Fahel. “You can try as preventive measuresAvoid contact with affected people, as well as closed and unventilated environments, always eat well, wash your hands and get vaccinated against the flu every year, as the virus undergoes many mutations, ”he advises.

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Importance of vaccination

The flu vaccine is indicated mainly for children from 6 months to 2 years and for the elderly from the age of 60, as these age groups represent the most vulnerable population and can present more serious complications. for the cold there is no vaccine because there are many types of viruses, which makes immunization difficult.

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