Colds & Flu -rest better at night

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Common cold

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Common cold
Other names Cold, acute viral nasopharyngitis, nasopharyngitis, viral rhinitis, rhinopharyngitis, acute coryza, head cold[1]
A representation of the molecular surface of one variant of human rhinovirus
Specialty Infectious disease
Symptoms Cough, sore throat, runny nose, fever[2][3]
Complications Otitis media, sinusitis[4]
Usual onset ~2 days from exposure[5]
Duration 1–3 weeks[2][6]
Causes Viral[7]
Differential diagnosis Allergic rhinitis, bronchitis, pertussis, sinusitis[4]
Prevention Hand washing, face mask[2]
Treatment Symptomatic therapy,[2] zinc[8]
Medication NSAIDs[9]
Frequency 2–4 per year (adults); 6–8 per year (young children)[10]

The common cold, also known simply as a cold, is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract that primarily affects the nose.[7] The throat, sinuses, and larynx may also be affected.[5] Signs and symptoms may appear less than two days after exposure to the virus.[5] These may include coughing, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, headache, and fever.[2][3] People usually recover in seven to ten days,[2] but some symptoms may last up to three weeks.[6] Occasionally those with other health problems may develop pneumonia.[2]

Well over 200 virus strains are implicated in causing the common cold, with rhinoviruses being the most common.[11] They spread through the air during close contact with infected people or indirectly through contact with objects in the environment, followed by transfer to the mouth or nose.[2] Risk factors include going to child care facilities, not sleeping well, and psychological stress.[5] The symptoms are mostly due to the body’s immune response to the infection rather than to tissue destruction by the viruses themselves.[12] In contrast, those affected by influenza can show similar symptoms as people with a cold, but symptoms are usually more severe.[5] Additionally, influenza is less likely to result in a runny nose.[13]

There is no vaccine for the common cold.[2] The primary methods of prevention are hand washing; not touching the eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands; and staying away from sick people.[2] Some evidence supports the use of face masks.[14] There is also no cure, but the symptoms can be treated.[2] Zinc may reduce the duration and severity of symptoms if started shortly after the onset of symptoms.[8] Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen may help with pain.[9] Antibiotics, however, should not be used[15] and there is no good evidence for cough medicines.[5][16]

The common cold is the most frequent infectious disease in humans.[17] The average adult gets two to three colds a year, while the average child may get six to eight.[7][10] Infections occur more commonly during the winter.[2] These infections have existed throughout human history.[18]



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Other names Flu, the flu
EM of influenza virus.jpg
Influenza virus, magnified approximately 100,000 times
Specialty Infectious disease
Symptoms Fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, feeling tired[1]
Usual onset Two days after exposure[1]
Duration ~1 week[1]
Causes Influenza viruses[2]
Prevention Handwashing, surgical mask, influenza vaccine[1][3]
Medication Antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir[1]
Frequency 3–5 million severe cases per year[1]
Deaths Up to 650,000 per year[4]

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an infectious disease caused by an influenza virus.[1] Symptoms can be mild to severe.[5] The most common symptoms include: high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, and feeling tired.[1] These symptoms typically begin two days after exposure to the virus and most last less than a week.[1] The cough, however, may last for more than two weeks.[1] In children, there may be diarrhea and vomiting, but these are not common in adults.[6] Diarrhea and vomiting occur more commonly in gastroenteritis, which is an unrelated disease and sometimes inaccurately referred to as “stomach flu” or the “24-hour flu”.[6] Complications of influenza may include viral pneumonia, secondary bacterial pneumonia, sinus infections, and worsening of previous health problems such as asthma or heart failure.[2][5]

Three of the four types of influenza viruses affect humans: Type A, Type B, and Type C.[2][7] Type D has not been known to infect humans, but is believed to have the potential to do so.[7][8] Usually, the virus is spread through the air from coughs or sneezes.[1] This is believed to occur mostly over relatively short distances.[9] It can also be spread by touching surfaces contaminated by the virus and then touching the mouth or eyes.[5][9] A person may be infectious to others both before and during the time they are showing symptoms.[5] The infection may be confirmed by testing the throat, sputum, or nose for the virus.[2] A number of rapid tests are available; however, people may still have the infection even if the results are negative.[2] A type of polymerase chain reaction that detects the virus’s RNA is more accurate.[2]

Frequent hand washing reduces the risk of viral spread.[3] Wearing a surgical mask is also useful.[3] Yearly vaccinations against influenza are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for those at high risk,[1] and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for those six months of age and older.[10] The vaccine is usually effective against three or four types of influenza.[1] It is usually well-tolerated.[1] A vaccine made for one year may not be useful in the following year, since the virus evolves rapidly.[1] Antiviral drugs such as the neuraminidase inhibitor oseltamivir, among others, have been used to treat influenza.[1] The benefit of antiviral drugs in those who are otherwise healthy do not appear to be greater than their risks.[11] No benefit has been found in those with other health problems.[11][12]

Influenza spreads around the world in yearly outbreaks, resulting in about three to five million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths.[1] About 20% of unvaccinated children and 10% of unvaccinated adults are infected each year.[13] In the northern and southern parts of the world, outbreaks occur mainly in the winter, while around the equator, outbreaks may occur at any time of the year.[1] Death occurs mostly in the young, the old, and those with other health problems.[1] Larger outbreaks known as pandemics are less frequent.[2] In the 20th century, three influenza pandemics occurred: Spanish influenza in 1918 (40–50 million deaths), Asian influenza in 1957 (two million deaths), and Hong Kong influenza in 1968 (one million deaths).[14][15] The World Health Organization declared an outbreak of a new type of influenza A/H1N1 to be a pandemic in June 2009.[16] Influenza may also affect other animals, including pigs, horses, and birds.[17]

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