With the cold days come the sneezing, the nose dripping and still some coughing. But is it really a winter on the way and the cold the main culprit?
The first symptoms start to appear: headache, body aches, cough, nose dripping and sneezing. A cold or even the flu is on the way. But is this really the most correct diagnosis?
According to American doctor Sandra Fryhofer, there are several wrong ideas about colds and flu. Many people think that colds happen because of a lack of vitamin C or because they went out with wet hair to the street.
To the Huffington Post, this doctor listed the top ten myths about colds and winter flu.
- The cold is at the root of the flu. This idea is wrong since both the flu and the cold are caused by viruses (though different). The cold can only cause some drip in the nose.
- The flu is no more serious than a cold. This is another misconception. The flu (which can cause symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and a stuffy nose) can be highly damaging in people with asthma or who are over 65. Pregnant women are also among the most vulnerable to the effects of the flu.
- Having a fever is a sign of the flu or cold. Yes, a fever is a body reaction at the time of cleaning up a virus.
- Heat or dry cold makes people sick. False. Temperature does not cause the flu or cold, but it can trigger some more recurrent symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or a blocked nose.
- Going out with wet hair 'attracts' the flu. Scientifically, this idea is wrong and there is no evidence of it.
- The flu vaccine causes... flu. The Huffington Post says this idea is nothing more than a rumor. The flu vaccine doesn't cause the flu and it can be given to people with the flu, says doctor Sandra Fryhofer.
- The flu vaccine makes people immune. This statement is wrong since the flu vaccine protects people from the attacks of three types of viruses. However, there are close to a hundred that can cause the flu. With the vaccine, a person is protected from the most common viruses, but not from everyone.
- People with a cold or flu should avoid dairy products. Although it does not hurt, the consumption of dairy products can make the mucosa thicker, making it difficult to expel them. Nevertheless, the doctor stresses that there is no scientific evidence about this relationship, and it can only occur to people with dairy problems.
- Colds and flu do not coincide with physical exercise. Unless the body aches or breathing capacity is very intense. Physical exercise can even be an ally against this disease. It does not cure, but it makes the body stronger.
- Cover your mouth with your hands when you sneeze or cough. Cover your mouth, yes, always! but never with your hands. To avoid unwanted contamination - and for better hygiene - you should cough or sneeze into a handkerchief or arm, never into your hands or forward and without any protection.
Prevention of winter flu
Now you may wonder how to prevent flu in the winter season. Annual vaccine prevention is the best weapon against the flu that circulates among us every cold season.
Preparation for the winter goes far beyond taking your coat off and buying new boots; preventing yourself from typical cold diseases is a fundamental part of being ready to face the season. One of the main battles is against the flu, which manifests itself every year in different main strains (subtypes) and demands special care.
A vaccine is always the best prevention
The main prevention is still the vaccine, which prevents the flu from developing into more serious conditions. For more serious conditions, you should consider serious problems like pneumonia.
The need to take the vaccine every year is justified by two factors. First, the vaccine is valid for about nine months in the body. Second, the strains may change dramatically from one year to the next, so the new vaccine will protect against influenza viruses that are circulating more intensely.