For many, off season is the most dangerous time of the year. It was during this period that the viruses attacked the most. As a result – ARVI and flu, which knock out from the usual pace of life and cause significant discomfort. To begin effective treatment of the disease, it is necessary to correctly determine its etiology. Therefore, it is so important to know how to distinguish SARS from the flu by clinical manifestations.
What is ARVI?
If the doctor diagnosed SARS, you should be aware that this ailment is a generalized concept for all respiratory diseases that have viral etiology. These diseases include flu.
For the diseases of this group is characterized by the rapid emergence of symptoms, such as respiratory phenomena, lacrimation, general weakness, sweating and fever. Viral infection is transmitted by airborne droplets, while it spreads rapidly and affects 75-80% of people who have been in contact with the patient. Such sad statistics is explained by the fact that the human body is not able to develop immunity to viruses, as the latter are constantly modified and mutated.
What you need to know about the flu?
Many do not consider this ailment to be serious and make a huge mistake exposing their organism to danger. After all, the flu is one of the most insidious respiratory viral diseases. It annually spreads across our planet in the form of global pandemics and epidemics that take from 300 to 500 thousand lives. Therefore, it is so important to know how to distinguish SARS from the flu in the early stages of the development of pathology in order to begin an effective therapy.
To date, scientists have identified more than 2,000 subspecies of the virus. The most dangerous of them are Spanish (A / H1N1), swine (H1N1) and bird flu. Like all acute respiratory viral infections, the disease is transmitted by airborne droplets and is characterized by high infectiousness. The latter fact is explained by the fact that the incubation period of influenza and ARVI lasts from two to four days, and during this time the patient has time to infect many other people.
The disease begins with acute manifestations of intoxication, such as headaches, vomiting, chills, dizziness, and sometimes sleep disturbances and even hallucinations. Treatment should include bed rest, symptomatic therapy and antiviral medication. It is also worth noting that the patient is necessarily isolated from healthy family members for the duration of the treatment.
Diagnosis of ailments
To determine the acute respiratory viral infection, it is enough for the therapist to examine the patient, but to determine the etiology of the disease in this way will not work, since the symptoms of influenza and ARVI are very similar. For an accurate diagnosis of the disease, the doctor must send the patient to the laboratory for a series of tests. This is the only way to determine the presence of a virus in human blood.
In the laboratory, infected blood cultures are most often used to determine ailment in specific nutrient media. To this end, a series of studies are carried out on the basis of serological reactions, which are used to determine the concentration of antibodies in a patient’s blood to a virus.
But given the fact that laboratory tests are quite complex and expensive, not all of them pass. And pediatricians categorically diagnose influenza only on the basis of information received about the beginning of the epidemic. In exceptional cases, only the first patients undergo research, and the rest until the end of the epidemic situation is set up by the automatic. It is for this reason that the treatment of the disease is not always effective and can lead to a mass of undesirable consequences. Therefore, those people who care about their health need to know how to distinguish ARVI from the flu on their own.
Initial stage of the disease
Despite the fact that these two diseases are very similar in symptoms, there are a number of differences according to which a person can determine for himself exactly what he is sick. So, the first thing you need to pay attention to is the speed of the disease. As a rule, the initial stage of acute respiratory viral infections is delayed for 1-2 days, while the symptoms appear sluggish, but the person feels significant discomfort (lethargy, nasal congestion, sore throat, and sometimes fever) and partially loses working capacity. The memo on SARS and influenza, which, as a rule, always, and especially during epidemics, is present at one of the health newsletters in the clinic, contains a lot of useful information about the development of the disease and its prevention.
As for the flu, the person who is still healthy in the first half of the day is completely losing strength after lunch and feels unwell due to the high temperature. This disease is characterized by a rapid acute onset.
The nature of the development of pathology, like other signs of flu and ARVI, allow the patient to independently determine which of these ailments attacks the body.
As already mentioned, in many ways the symptoms of these diseases are similar, and one of the signs is an increase in body temperature. But there is one nuance. Thus, the flu is characterized by a rapid (within 1–2 hours) temperature jump to 39–40 ° C. At the same time, almost all antipyretic drugs are not very effective. And even if the temperature was reduced, after 1-2 hours it will begin to rise again. In such cases, patients are prescribed not only medicines for influenza and acute respiratory viral infections, but also several antipyretic drugs, which must be alternated and taken every 2.5-3 hours.
As for ARVI, then, as a rule, the temperature does not exceed 37.8-38.5 o C. It is easily reduced after taking such means as Paracetamol or Ibufen. If the patient’s condition is stable, there is no worsening, then you can do without antipyretic drugs to enable the immune system to cope with the disease. But if a child is sick, you should not self-medicate. After all, the body crumbs can not cope with the disease, which is detrimental to its health. Therefore, when the first symptoms appear, you should go to a pediatrician’s appointment, who will evaluate the condition of the small patient and prescribe treatment.
General condition of the patient
It’s no secret that flu, colds, ARVI are diseases that cause a decrease in efficiency and cause significant discomfort. But even by these signs, you can independently understand what kind of aility has violated everyday plans.
So, with the flu, patients complain of strong muscle and headaches (especially in the temples), as well as body aches, chills, and sweating. In addition, in some cases, there is pain with eye movement and photosensitivity.
If we talk about the general condition of a patient with ARVI, then weakness and weakness are present throughout the whole illness. But here the pain in the head and muscles is expressed very weakly.
Nasal congestion and runny nose
Influenza viruses and ARVI are provocateurs of inflammatory processes in the respiratory organs. At the same time, the patient begins to cough, body temperature rises, and nasal congestion and runny nose appear. However, with influenza, inflammation and swelling of the mucous membranes of the nasal cavity occurs much less frequently than with ARVI. And after 2-3 days of a cold completely passes.
In case of acute respiratory viral infection, the nose lays already in the first two days, then, in addition to swelling of the mucous membranes of the nasopharynx, there is a severe runny nose and sneezing. This increases the lacrimation.
For those who do not know how to distinguish SARS from the flu, doctors recommend paying attention to the condition of the mucous membranes of the throat and pharynx. Illness caused by the influenza virus, characterized by severe swelling, as well as redness of the soft palate and back of the throat. A patient with ARVI has a swollen and red throat, while it has a loose structure.
By the way, if such signs of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections, such as swelling and flushing of the throat, are common, then plaque on the mucous membranes is characteristic only of the latter.
Before you determine what ailment struck the body, it is worth remembering when the cough appeared. If this symptom began to be disturbed at the very beginning of the development of the disease, and only then a rhinitis joined and the temperature rose – this is ARVI.
If the disease began with fever, body aches and headaches, and only for 2-3 days a dry cough appeared, any doctor diagnoses the flu. The accompanying cough pain in the trachea and chest can confirm the diagnosis. If you do not start taking flu and ARVI drugs with such symptoms (Cycloferon, Viferon, Immunoflazid, Arbidol, Anaferon, Ingavirin, Rimantadine, Tamiflu, etc.) , the patient’s condition may significantly deteriorate, because the virus will continue to exert its pathogenic effect on the respiratory organs and the body as a whole.
In some cases, the body’s response to the influenza virus may be a disruption of the gastrointestinal tract. Diarrhea and vomiting in a patient appears as early as 2-3 days after infection and lasts 24-48 hours. Without symptomatic therapy, the manifestation of this symptom can last for another few days and lead to dehydration.
Despite the fact that many of the symptoms of flu and ARVI are very similar, you can independently diagnose the ailment yourself. It is enough to carefully analyze the sequence and nature of the main clinical manifestations.
Duration of ailments
If you comply with all the recommendations of the doctor, the patient’s condition of ARVI improves already on the third day, full recovery occurs at 6-7 days. After suffering a disease a person quickly recovers strength and performance.
Despite the fact that the incubation period of influenza and ARVI is the same, the active phase of the latter proceeds much more difficult and longer. Only a high temperature in a patient can last up to 5-6 days, and the illness begins to recede only for 10-12 days. However, this is not all surprises from the flu. Indeed, even after a full recovery in 2-3 weeks, the person experiences weakness, indisposition and headaches.