Tuesday, March 12, 2013

COLDS AND THE FLU


   Colds and the flu are common virus infections that may cause runny nose, 'cough, sore throat, and sometimes
fever or pain in the joints. There may be mild diarrhea,especially in young children. Colds and the flu almost always go away without medicine. Do not use penicillin, tetracycline, or other
antibiotics, as they will not help at all and may cause harm.
+ Drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
+ Aspirin or acetaminophen  helps lower fever and relieve  body aches and headaches. More expensive 'cold tablets' are no better than aspirin. So why waste your money?
+ No special diet is needed. However, fruit juices, especially orange juice or lemonade, are helpful.
For treating coughs and stuffy noses that come with colds.
WARNING: Do not give any kind of antibiotic or injections to a child with a simple cold. They will not help and may cause harm. Sometimes signs of cold are caused by the polio virus, and giving the child an injection could bring on paralysis from polio.
      If a cold or the flu lasts more than a week, or if the person has fever, coughs up a lot of phlegm (mucus with pus), has shallow fast breathing or chest pain,he could be developing bronchitis or pneumonia. An antibiotic may be called for. The danger of a cold turning into pneumonia is greater in old people, in those who have lung problems like chronic bronchitis, and in people who cannot move much. Sore throat is often part of a cold. No special medicine is needed, but it may help to gargle with warm water. However, if the sore throat begins suddenly, with high fever, it could be a strep throat. Special treatment is needed .


Prevention of colds:
-Getting enough sleep and eating well helps prevent colds. Eating oranges, tomatoes, and other fruit containing vitamin C may also help.
-Contrary to popular belief, colds do not come from getting cold or wet (although getting very cold, wet, or tired can make a cold worse). A cold is 'caught' from others who have the infection and sneeze the virus into
the air.
-To keep from giving his cold to others, the sick person should eat and sleep separately-and take special care to keep far away from small babies. He should cover his nose and mouth when he coughs or sneezes.


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