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Differences of cold, ARVI and flu. This is important to know!

Symptoms of flu, colds and ARVI

Have you caught a cold and it's SARS or flu? Or is it a swine flu ?! If you learn to distinguish SARS from the flu, you will always keep the situation under control, save your nerve cells and protect yourself from serious health problems.

Cold - cooling the body or parts of the body, which is the cause of various diseases. In non-medical sources, the cold is also called the disease itself, caused by the cooling of the body. In everyday life, colds (colds) are often called infectious diseases:

  • Influenza, parainfluenza
  • Acute respiratory viral infection (ARVI)
  • Nasopharyngitis, pharyngitis
  • Laryngitis
  • Herpes simplex

Viral infections are not directly related to the cooling of the body, although hypothermia itself may increase the body's susceptibility to infection and facilitate infection.

Symptoms: flu, cold and ARVI

In order not to be mistaken, it is vitally important to know what is the difference between the usual COLD, ARVI and FLU.

1. Impairment of health during:

  • cold - gradual;
  • ARVI - fast;
  • Flu - a sudden: a person does not mark the exact moment of the disease.

2. Body temperature at:

  • cold - usually not higher than 37.5 С °;
  • ARVI is always above 38 ° C;
  • flu - 39-40 С ° - it appears suddenly and remains high for 3-4 days.

3. Intoxication with:

  • cold - it is not;
  • ARVI - expressed in increased fatigue;
  • Flu is present, even though it is clearly expressed and manifested by severe chills, unbearable headache, pain even when the eyeballs move, profuse sweating, photophobia, and the presence of aches in muscles and joints.

4. Runny nose and nasal congestion with:

  • cold - appears in the first hours of the disease;
  • ARVI - occurs in the first days of the disease;
  • flu - may appear as complications not earlier than 2-3 days of the onset of the disease.

5. Sneezing at:

  • cold - accompanied by a cold;
  • ARVI - always accompanies it;
  • flu is most often absent.

6. Sore throat and redness with:

  • cold - discomfort in the throat manifests itself on the 2nd day after hypothermia;
  • ARVI - appears immediately with cough and is pronounced;
  • flu - appears on the 2nd day of the disease, in addition, there is a cough caused by chest pain.

7. Discomfort in the eyes when:

  • cold - absent;
  • ARVI - happens, but rarely (if a bacterial infection has joined);
  • Flu - often occurs redness.

8. Headache with:

  • cold does not appear;
  • ARVI - with complications of the disease (sinusitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis);
  • Flu is strong and difficult to sustain without painkillers.

9. Increased fatigue with:

  • cold - absent;
  • ARVI - may occur in the case when the high temperature lasts more than a day;
  • flu is and persists even for 2-3 weeks after the illness.

10. Insomnia with:

  • cold - it is not;
  • ARVI - may occur due to high temperature;
  • flu is and persists even for 2-3 weeks after the illness.

What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

What is the difference between a cold and the flu? - Symptoms of flu, colds and ARVI

The frivolous word "cold" we in everyday life call a lot of highly contagious viral diseases, which, as a rule, begin with inflammation of the nasal mucosa and pharynx. Most of them are related to SARS - acute respiratory viral infections.

Influenza is also ARVI , but it starts and is more severe than other diseases of this group (parainfluenza, adenovirus and rhinovirus infection, etc.). With it, the typical symptoms are more pronounced - fever, cough, sore throat, and severe signs of intoxication of the body are added: chills, body aches, headache, often nausea, and even clouding of consciousness. Influenza is really very dangerous complications. That is why it can not be equated to the "ordinary cold" and carry on his feet.

Can I get sick from the cold?

Можно ли заболеть от холода? - Симптомы гриппа, простуды и ОРВИ

Not. The fact that you will certainly get sick if you freeze, wet your feet, get a cold head or eat ice cream in the street in the street - these are “grandmother's tales”.

But the truth is that hypothermia will reduce your immunity, opening the way for viruses, and if they have already entered the body, the cold will accelerate the infection and aggravate the unpleasant painful symptoms.

How not to catch a cold?

Как не заразиться простудой? - Симптомы гриппа, простуды и ОРВИ

To begin, answer the reverse question: how to get infected? The first way is to inhale viral particles from a person who is coughing or sneezing. The second way is to touch the nose, mouth or eyes with unwashed hands after contact with a sick person, or public objects, which also have colds.

Following simple logic, in order not to get infected, you need:

  • avoid contact with patients, if possible, do not breathe general air with them, air the rooms;
  • do not touch the face with dirty hands, wash them thoroughly with soap.

Will a medical mask protect?

Защитит ли медицинская маска? - Симптомы гриппа, простуды и ОРВИ

In fact, the mask should be worn to the sick - in order not to spread viruses to others. But healthy, it does not give any guarantee of protection. Moreover, if it is used improperly (and most do so), then you can even speed up the infection.

To avoid this, follow these rules:

  • Do not wear one mask for more than three hours, otherwise it will become an infection incubator itself;
  • do not stick out the nose, do not pull the mask, wear as close as possible to the face;
  • do not throw the used mask anywhere and do not keep it in the open bin - better just send it to the garbage disposal.

Does flu vaccine work?

Правда ли работает вакцина от гриппа? - Симптомы гриппа, простуды и ОРВИ

A vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu, and pregnant women just need it. But it is important to vaccinate before the onset of the traditional winter epidemic, that is, in the fall, preferably until the end of October, and not be caught cold at this moment.

Why do some people get sick even after proper vaccination? Because flu viruses abound and they quickly mutate, and the vaccine is created every year only against the most aggressive strains, which, according to forecasts of WHO physicians, are likely to cause a seasonal epidemic. But even catching the flu of a different strain or a different respiratory viral infection in general, the vaccinated person will suffer the disease more easily and will return to normal.

How to be treated if you still got infected?

Как лечиться, если всё-таки заразился? - Симптомы гриппа, простуды и ОРВИ

No matter how trite, rest and heavy drinking is the basis for the treatment of all acute respiratory viral infections, including influenza. At rest, the body is fully focused on the fight against infection, and drinking (tea, decoctions, warm milk, mineral water, berry fruit drinks) compensates for the loss of fluids, vitamins and microelements and promotes sputum secretion.

With regard to drugs, for colds, WHO advises to limit the simple and safe minimum to alleviate the symptoms: antipyretic / analgesic (paracetamol is one of the most harmless analgesics) and decongestant for rhinitis.

The same is true for flu, if the symptoms are moderate. However, if the disease has begun to get worse, you need to call a doctor to prescribe antiviral drugs.

Are there any effective remedies for colds?

Есть ли эффективные средства от простуды? - Симптомы гриппа, простуды и ОРВИ

Unfortunately, no , because there are too many viruses and they quickly mutate in the body, producing resistance to drugs. Based on this, think, do you really want to poison yourself or your child?

Here's what it is important to know before you run to the pharmacy:

  • Antiviral drugs act only against the flu (and not other acute respiratory viral infections) and are most effective in the first 48 hours from the moment of illness. Later they can be useful if they are properly prescribed by a doctor.
  • Antiviral, as well as cough drops, have a lot of side effects that are especially dangerous for children under 12 years old. But adults also take risks when they are pumped up by themselves, because they have no time to get sick.
  • Most popular drugs for “cold and flu” only temporarily alleviate the symptoms, but do not cure the disease itself and do not shorten its duration.
  • Many drops and sprays in the nose for breathing easier dry and destroy the mucous membrane.
  • Antibiotics do not treat colds because they kill bacteria, not viruses. Take them with SARS and flu - a crime, because the beneficial microbes die, and the body weakens even more. Antibiotics may be needed for some complications, but this should be determined by the physician and prescribed dosage.

When to churn the temperature?

Когда сбивать температуру? - Симптомы гриппа, простуды и ОРВИ

When it is above 38.5 degrees . Heat is the most important weapon of the body against infection, but after this mark it begins to threaten the body itself.

Too high temperature in combination with viral intoxication can adversely affect the internal organs. High heat is especially dangerous for cores and patients with thyroid problems.

How to treat a cold during pregnancy?

Как лечить простуду при беременности? - Симптомы гриппа, простуды и ОРВИ

The key principle: self-medication is unacceptable, including “grandmother’s means”, because there are many nuances and contraindications. Always consult a doctor. By the way, it is important not to confuse the first signs of a cold and flu with the usual indisposition during pregnancy, for this you need to monitor the temperature and condition of the throat.

Even the most seemingly harmless ways that are suitable for everyone carry risks for pregnant women, especially in the first trimester, when the mother's body adapts to the new state and the most important organs of the child are laid. For example, excessive drinking can cause swelling, you can gargle with chamomile, eucalyptus, sage, but many other decoctions and herbal preparations are dangerous, you can not soar legs. To bring down the temperature you need only after 38 degrees, but you can not wrap up and overheat.

Strictly contraindicated to future mothers most pharmaceutical drugs. Aspirin is strictly prohibited. Moreover, the impact of the bulk of drugs on pregnant women is poorly understood, the data are regularly updated, and the instructions may be outdated. Therefore, once again: no self.

What not to do when treating a child?

Чего нельзя делать при лечении ребёнка? - Симптомы гриппа, простуды и ОРВИ

According to pediatricians, “caring” adults make a lot of stupid mistakes when they come to treat the child themselves, and as a result he begins to get sick more often.

Here are some common mistakes.

Antibiotics for colds - Not only is it not at all wrong (see paragraph 8), thanks to this “therapy”, the child’s body stops fighting the disease on its own.

Rubbing with Vodka or Vinegar - These “proven granny products” dry sensitive baby skin, and if it is dry, then alcohol and acid are absorbed into the blood. To reduce the heat, the child just wipe with water at room temperature.

Raspberry Tips - Tea is a strong diuretic, raspberries are a powerful diaphoretic. Such a “double blow” will lead to dehydration and weaken the children's body if it has not previously received enough liquid. For this child you need to drink other drinks without a diuretic and diaphoretic effect.

Warming up and compresses - It is impossible to warm inflammations, thermal procedures only increase edema. Therefore, hot salt in the bag with a cold and a warm compress on a sore throat is harm, not good.

In general, if you are not a pro, then do not play doctor when your child is ill not for fun. And certainly call a real doctor when there are dangerous symptoms: shortness of breath or shortness of breath, persistent fever, convulsions .

How many times a year is it normal to hurt?

Сколько раз в год нормально болеть? - Симптомы гриппа, простуды и ОРВИ

Adults "catch cold" on average 2-4 times a year, women more often, probably because they have more contact with children.

Children, in turn, get sick 6-10 times a year. Moreover, any normal child of preschool age should get ARVI and flu so many times - so his immunity is included in the full-fledged work. Worse, if the child is not sick, it means that he has a weak immune response, says the main hematologist pediatrician of the Russian Ministry of Health Alexander Rumyantsev.

Finally, people over 60 years old catch a cold on average once a year or less.

However, it is not so much the frequency that is important, but the nature of the disease. It is normal to suffer a slight cold several times, but to have a long and severe infection twice, it is a reason to turn to an immunologist.


Staying in the cold lowers the temperature of the human body (at a rate of 36.6 ° C). In the air at 27 ° C, an undressed man maintains his normal temperature, and in water, whose heat capacity is much greater, only at 32-36 ° C. But cooling causes the body's reaction: involuntary - reduction of smooth muscles of the skin and blood vessels, reducing body heat loss, plus - increased metabolism, increasing heat production, and voluntary - muscle movements, which also lead to increased heat production. Intoxicated, dormant, paralyzed this active reaction does not occur, because they are easier exposed to the harmful effects of colds. But with a longer and more intense exposure to cold, a healthy body is not able to maintain a normal temperature. Due to the fact that cooling the surface of the body causes a contraction of the blood vessels, blood flows to other areas, causing flushing to the internal organs that cannot be indifferent to them, especially if they already have painful changes; with heart disease, for example, or vascular fragility, such hot flashes can lead to bleeding. Internal organs are even more sensitive to direct cooling, for example, a strong cooling of the peritoneum can directly lead to death.

An important way to prevent colds, including nasopharyngitis, is hardening. Hardening is to train the skin and its vessels to react quickly to changes in temperature. In order not to harm the body, it must be conducted gradually and carefully. It is advisable to start hardening from early childhood, after four weeks of life, gradually lowering the temperature of the bath for the newborn, to a temperature consistent with the recommendations of experts. After the bath, the body should be quickly doused with somewhat colder water and a strong rubdown with a dry (terry) towel. From the second year you can be content with one douche, which is done every morning. But hardening has its limits. Heat energy is produced from the food we eat; if we didn’t protect ourselves with clothing from excessive heat loss, we would have, according to Jurgensen’s apt expression, only to warm our body.

They also carry out measures for the destruction of pathogenic microbes in their home. For what they use, including modern methods of disinfection: a wet kitchen towel for dishes placed for 2 minutes in the microwave, all disease-causing microbes die from high temperature and steam. It is necessary to regularly clean, ventilate rooms, wash hands after visiting public places and before eating.

During epidemics, prolonged stay in public places should be avoided; external parts of the nasal passages are smeared with oxolinic ointment. As a natural antibiotic, garlic is consumed.

In cool times, it is useful to wear not very dense woolen fabrics directly on the body, which besides being very elastic and, moreover, are densely seated on the surface with thin, elastic hairs, so they do not adhere so tightly to the body like linen, silk and the other, but the air space always remains between them and the skin; the air, like a bad conductor of heat, mainly delays the heat transfer. Especially we can recommend wool for legs. The legs, compared with their mass, have a large surface, besides, they lie furthest from the heart downwards, therefore the heat release from them is faster and penetrates deeper. Dabbing of the feet, which so often causes cold, should be avoided; it is useful to wear high-quality, warm and waterproof shoes, preferably from natural animal skin.

An important prevention of colds is a healthy lifestyle: proper sleep (about 8 hours a day), exercise, walks, eating a variety of foods containing vitamins, regular outings from large industrial cities.


In the statistics of infectious diseases, influenza and ARVI make up 95%. The inability of modern medicine to defeat these diseases so far is due to their ability to evolve quickly. Most people have not learned to distinguish between the flu and the common cold, and this can lead to serious complications due to improper and timely treatment, which in some cases end in death.

Doctors in one voice say that the cause of death in most cases - a late appeal for qualified help. People out of habit try to rest in bed, feeling unwell and get along with a traditional set of familiar pills and cold medicines. But the flu gives a complication and develops into pneumonia, which quickly “burns out” a person on “seagulls”.

Now in Ukraine the flu is rampant, claiming more and more new human lives. Doctors in one voice say that the cause of death in most cases - a late appeal for qualified help. People out of habit try to rest in bed, feeling unwell and get along with a traditional set of familiar pills and cold medicines. But the flu gives a complication and develops into pneumonia, which quickly “burns out” a person on “seagulls”.

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