Real flu, or just a harmless cold? The difference can be crucial!

Infectious diseases: So the difference between influenza and the common cold recognize

In the case of cough and Snort a lot of people think that you have a flu. However, far &#8211 missed; a flu with much more pronounced symptoms. While a common cold is rather harmless, it can be a flu-even life-threatening. Therefore, it is recommended for some groups of people a vaccination. We explain the difference between the common cold and flu.

Severe cold or Influenza?

Runny nose, headache, hoarseness, fever: In the cold Season, many people are sick – a harmless infection some think. But be careful: in the autumn and winter months, the Influenza high season. Experts explain how you can tell the difference between colds and flu and how you can protect yourself from infection.

Who suffers in the cold Season colds, headaches and Co, thinks quickly to a flu. Often &#8222 is;nur“ a cold for the complaints officer. Experts explain how you can distinguish the diseases. (Image: ladysuzi/

Influenza occurs all of a sudden

Dr. Wolfgang Reuter, a public health expert of the DKV German health insurance, explained in a information to consumers the difference between a “simple” cold and a flu.

“The distinction between the common cold and Influenza is not always easy,” said Dr. Reuter.

Whether a flu or a flu infection, is to recognize, among other things, how fast the complaints, because a true flu occurs all of a sudden.

In addition, symptoms such as fatigue and tiredness are usually more intense.

Influenza infects the body usually with full force. Cough, chills, headache, and high fever, often over 40 degrees – are also notes on the Influenza.

The elderly, children and persons with severe underlying disease, such as, for example, the cardiovascular system, should consult a doctor in any case. Even if the symptoms are not clear.

Infection avoid

“Both colds and the true flu is usually transmitted by droplet infection,” explains DKV expert. “That is to say: The virus when coughing, Sneezing or Speaking person-to-person.”

In order to protect themselves from infection, it is advisable to keep from Diseased distance. And anyone who becomes ill or for an infection to be particularly vulnerable, should avoid crowds.

To fully occupied buses, trains or elevators. But above all, proper Hygiene is in the cold time, and also on doorknobs, keyboards, or grips, for example, in stairwells can contact the virus.

Moves the Hand to the nose or mouth, it may be happening quickly. “Frequent, thorough hand an important prevention measure is to wash”, says the health expert.

“Likewise, the hands should stay away from the face, particularly of the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose.” It is recommended that during a flu or cold wave to shake hands and to dispense hugs.

In addition to such measures, there is still another way to protect against Influenza infection:

“Basically, a flu vaccination, because the vaccination can reduce the risk significantly – by more than half,” explains Dr. Johannes Schenkel, Medical Director of the Independent patient counseling Germany (UPD) in a communication.

“The STIKO recommends that all persons aged 60 years and patients with chronic diseases, the annual vaccination at the house doctor”, writes the UPD in a further communication.

And: “the same is true for Pregnant women from the second trimester of pregnancy, residents of nursing facilities, medical staff and professionals with a lot of customer contact.”

Whether a flu vaccination is useful, but it must decide every man for himself.

Defenses strengths: Fresh air and warm clothes

The best protection against infection is a good, resilient immune system. In order to strengthen the body’s own defenses, it is, therefore, right now advisable a healthy, vitamin-rich diet to ensure sufficient exercise and enough sleep.

“Anyone who wants to offer the pathogens Paroli, should dress warmly, because Cold weakens the immune system,” advises Dr. Reuter. The sauna and contrast showers can also help to strengthen the immune system.

The mucous membranes not only provide protection from infection, as long as they dry out. That’s why the viruses have at dry heating air, easy game.

“Regular Air at home and in the workplace is therefore also in the Winter a good idea”, the DKV expert. Also a humidifier may help to prevent drying out of the mucous membranes.

What helps if I have me is it?

If it hits one, despite protective measures, however, is in the self-treatment of flu and colds is to make sure to drink a lot and a few days bed rest to comply with.

Most infections heal by itself In a rule, colds achieve after two, three days culminating, after about a week the worst should be over.

Concerned on the best wrapped up warm in bed or on the Sofa and drink two to three litres of water or herbal tea a day.

The complaints with the classic home remedies alleviate. There are a lot of things, what helps with Cold symptoms really.

A pack with a small chopped onion, for example, helps pains in the ears. Gargle with an infusion of sage, wild mallow or chamomile is soothing for hoarseness and sore throat, with cough, however, have proved of thyme and plantain.

Taking Vitamin C does nothing

Although there is in the pharmacy, also a number of over-the-counter cold remedies, but these address only the symptoms: The cause itself, so the virus can only defeat the body’s immune system – and that takes time.

In case of high fever, severe pain, or if symptoms do not subside after seven days, is a visit to the doctor is advisable.

Useless the additional intake of Vitamin C is to suffer in the Cold. Scientific evidence indicates that such supplements have no effect on the discomfort and the duration of the disease. (sb, ad)