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

When the cold arrives, several diseases begin to manifest themselves. Colds and flu are common in all age groups, but in children and the elderly the consequences can be worse. It is therefore important to warn you.

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According to Juarez Cunha, pediatrician and president of SBIm (Brazilian Society of Immunization), the main diseases that occur during 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 the common cold are different. First, the agents responsible for the two are distinct. According to Maria Lavinea Novis de Figueiredo, a doctor specializing in infectious diseases, the flu is caused by the Influenza A and B viruses. The common cold is caused by more than 100 types of virus, 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 sore throat light, sneezing, stuffy nose, low fever and a little discomfort”, describes Dr. Silvana Fahel, pediatrician, hematologist and hemotherapist. The common cold usually persists for 3-4 days and gets better on its own. In this case, the person is usually able to carry out normal activities despite the discomfort.

“In the flu, it’s different, there is a high fever, a maintained and compromised general condition, body aches, discomfort and headaches”, differentiates the pediatrician. The performance of physical and intellectual activities is compromised and the disease cycle is longer. The flu can be much more serious 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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Modes of transmission of flu and colds

Both the flu and the common cold can be prevented. In both cases, transmission is from person to person through droplets of saliva, sneezing, coughing, sharing contaminated objects, contaminated surfaces and even handshakes, 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 a preventive measureavoid contact with infected people, as well as closed and unventilated environments, always have a good diet, wash your hands and get vaccinated against the flu every year, because the virus undergoes many mutations”, advises- he.

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Importance of vaccination

The flu vaccine is mainly indicated for children from 6 months to 2 years old and for the elderly from the age of 60, since 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 virus, which makes vaccination difficult.

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