Your Local Pharmacist is

Jay Koovarjee

 92 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: (02) 9221 0091
fax: (02) 9221 0090

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:: In Brief

 

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:: Colds & Flu

Everyday Ailments - Colds & Flu
  Everyday Ailments
  Colds & Flu

Colds and Flu are both caused by a virus that usually affects your nose, throat and chest.

The common cold usually involves a runny nose, nasal congestion, and sneezing. You may also have a sore throat, cough, headache, or other symptoms. Over 200 viruses can cause a cold which affect the upper respiratory tract.

Influenza, shortened to "flu," is an extremely contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza A or B viruses. Flu appears most frequently in winter and early spring. The flu virus attacks the body by spreading through the upper and/or lower respiratory tract.

While most people with flu recover after a few days, in some it can be life-threatening. To avoid influenza, have an annual flu vaccination. If you have flu, cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands before touching others, and stay at home.
 

Signs & Symptoms:

Cold symptoms start 1-4 days after catching the virus, usually starting with a runny noze, and may include:

  • Dry or sore throat
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Headache - all over the head or around the nose and eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Hoarseness or rough voice

A flu can have the same symptoms as a cold, usually starting with a sore throat.  Usually more severe and lasts for up to a week and will also have:

  • high fever
  • muscle aches & pains
  • shivering

Medication:

The common types of medicines contain more than one medicine to treat the symptoms.  These may include:

  • Decongestents - to relieve a runny or stuffy nose
  • Cough suppressents - to relieve a dry cough
  • Expectorants - to loosen phlegm and help clear it from your chest
  • Pain relievers - to reduce aches, pain and fever
  • Antihistamines - to dry up a runny nose and alleviate wheezing
  • Lozenges - to relieve a sore throat
  • Complementary medicines - garlic and echinacea are thought to be beneficial, although there is no scientific evidence

Treatment:

There is no cure for colds and flu, but the symptoms can be treated.  These include:

  • Rest and stay warm
  • Breathe in steam
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of fluid each day
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet
  • Try not to blow your nose too hard so you don't force infection into the middle ear
  • Cover your mouth and nose
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cut down on smoking
  • Take paracetamol to control fever, aches and pain

Vaporisers and steams can be used with treatments added that can aid in decongestion and help with breathing.

Flu can occasionally lead to serious complications including death.

Older and ‘at risk’ groups should be immunised every year against the flu.

Protection after immunisation takes 10 to 14 days.

Consult a doctor if symptoms such as difficulty breathing, coughing up green-yellow phlegm or severe headache develop

More Information:

 

Ask Your Pharmacist about:

  • about whether you should have a flu vaccine
  • steam equipment and treatments to add to hot water

 

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