With a cold, it is an upper respiratory infection, usually manifested in a cold, sore throat and cough. The temperature, which can also indicate a flu infection, rarely rises with a cold, or only slightly. A common cold, which can be caused by many different viruses (for example, rhino or adenoviruses), should not be confused first of all with the real flu, the so-called influenza. Influenza is caused only by specific influenza viruses and, as a rule, literally knocks us down at a certain moment. Characterized by cough, fever, a pronounced feeling of illness, coupled with headaches and pain in the limbs.
Cold due to cold?
Is cold cause really cold? In fact, experts see the relationship between the cold season and the incidence of colds, but this relationship is indirect. Since in the cold we spend more time indoors, and at the same time we come into contact with many other people, for example, in the metro. That is, catarrhal viruses must pass a very small path from one person to another. In this case, heating plays a significant role in the drying of the mucous membrane, which is usually responsible for protection against pathogens, for example, against colds. Thus, it can be argued that colds contribute to the risk of catching colds.
Antibiotics for colds?
Infection of the upper respiratory tract is caused mainly by viruses (rhino- or human coronaviruses). Professionals in medicine often think that this infection can be defeated with antibiotics. In fact, antibiotics are not able to do anything with viruses, they act exclusively against bacteria. Against viruses help so-called virustatics. They are successfully used for real viral flu. When banal rhinitis, the use of these tools, experts consider excessive.
However, antibiotics play a role in colds. Since with the further course of the common cold caused by the viruses, the so-called bacterial superinfection occurs, that is, the multiplication of bacteria, antibiotics are indicated by doctors.
The following symptoms indicate a bacterial infection:
- yellow-green nasal secretion;
- later high fever;
- increasing deterioration of general condition.
Detection of the pathogen is theoretically possible, but in practice it is rather difficult, since the result of laboratory studies is expected within 72 hours. Faster detection of infection without identifying a specific pathogen. The doctor can detect C-reactive protein. It is formed in the liver when the immune system fights against infection. If the analysis reveals a high content of C-reactive protein, it makes sense to use antibiotics.
Colds – flu – bacterial superinfection: differences
The table below shows the differences between the viruses that cause the common cold, the viruses responsible for the occurrence of the flu, and the bacterial infection: