Acute respiratory viral infections are diseases characterized by lesions of the respiratory system as a result of exposure to the pathogen.
These can be viruses or bacteria. Infection occurs through airborne droplets or through personal hygiene items.
In the cold season, the likelihood of ARVI exacerbations increases, every year up to 60-80% of the population suffer. Adolescents and small children are more susceptible to diseases, as they have an insufficiently formed immune system.
How is ARVI transmitted?
Most often, children and adults with a diagnosis of ARVI had contact with patients with the flu (see symptoms and treatment of the flu) or parainfluenza. Transmission of adenoviral and viral infections is possible during handshakes, kisses, and conversations. If the patient sneezes, coughs, then the virus is circulating in the room, and all those present are at risk of getting ARVI.
That is why viral infection spreads so quickly in transport, subways, shopping centers, and underground passages. The smallest particles of the virus fly out of sputum and saliva, spreading by airborne droplets. Often dust particles with a virus enter the human body immediately, but when bacteria and viruses settle to the floor, and then with dust they rise into the air.
Inadequate ventilation and high humidity favor the growth of bacteria and viruses. The infection is especially fast in the cold season. The epidemic of SARS is explained by the cooling and overcooling of the body, which leads to a decrease in protective functions. Often in the autumn-spring period there is avitaminosis, weakening of the immune system, so people are prone to colds and viral diseases. Infection affects the organs of the upper respiratory tract, provoking inflammatory processes.
There is a temperature, a strong cough, which indicates the involvement in the inflammatory process of the alveoli and bronchi. When rhinovirus infection appears severe runny nose and chills. SARS is easily transmitted through common objects. Therefore, if the family of a patient with ARVI is not protected by a special gauze mask, then the whole family will fall ill.
Since the source of infection is saliva and mucus, it is important to carefully handle the dishes, personal items of the patient. In the event of outbreaks of various respiratory infections, it is imperative to wash your hands and monitor the lack of contact with the face and lips in particular.
SARS and flu. What is the difference?
ARVI – This is a group of diseases caused by viral infection. Diseases are transmitted by airborne droplets and are accompanied by fever up to 38º, weakness, chills, sweating and lacrimation. More than 80% of people get SARS when they come in contact with patients. It is impossible to develop immunity to infection, because it constantly mutates and adapts to new conditions. Treatment of acute respiratory viral infections is according to the scheme: antipyretic, antiviral, antihistamines and a complex of vitamins.
Flu – A disease of the category of ARVI, the most insidious and difficult to treat. Sometimes on the planet there are outbreaks of epidemics and pandemics that claim thousands of lives. Scientists have recorded about 2,000 viruses, the most common of which is swine, Spanish and bird flu. Flu differs from ARVI in that it is very contagious.
The incubation period for influenza lasts 2–3 days, and the patient, unknowingly, infects hundreds of other people. Symptoms of influenza like ARVI, but the flu is more severe. There are signs of intoxication, headache, nausea, vomiting.
Sometimes the flu is accompanied by hallucinations and sleep disturbance. When infected with influenza, the patient is isolated, the doctor recommends bed rest and prescribes antiviral drugs and adequate symptomatic treatment. The diagnosis of influenza is confirmed by special analyzes, viruses are calculated using serological tests and antibodies. Such studies are quite expensive, so the diagnosis is made when confirming the flu epidemic.
Symptoms of SARS in adults
After a particular pathogen has entered the body, it takes time for it to begin to actively proliferate, affecting the body.
Incubation period lasts at least two days. After this begins the classic picture of symptoms of ARVI. After the incubation period, respiratory damage begins, and signs of the disease appear. Often, patients are unaware that they are carriers of the infection and continue to infect other people.
The first symptoms of SARS in adults:
- sneezing, tickling, dryness, irritation in the throat;
- pain in the eyes, lacrimation;
- severe runny nose and cough;
- swollen lymph nodes;
- sleep disturbance;
- voice changes, if there is infectious inflammation of the mucous membrane of the larynx;
- photophobia and inflammation of the conjunctival mucosa, if the virus has affected the eyes;
- hallucinations are possible
Syndromes of intoxication often appear after catarrhal, and disappear earlier. However, the intoxication syndrome is more complex for the patient’s well-being. The following symptoms appear:
- soreness in muscles and joints.
- chills and fever.
- very rarely – vomiting, nausea, loss of consciousness.
When viral diseases appear light, with a slight viscosity of the discharge from the mucous. By the end of the disease, they may acquire a yellowish tint.
Each person has a disease in its own way, it all depends on the protective functions of the respiratory organs, the state of the immune system. For severe patients with diabetes mellitus, heart failure and other diseases of ARVI is a danger. Many people are able on their feet to suffer a cold, their body is fairly easy to cope with the infection, and the disease is mild.
However, most often the patient needs bed rest, as he experiences severe weakness, muscle pain, dizziness. To help the patient it is necessary to isolate it, at high temperatures to give anti-fever, warm drink and call a doctor.
Treatment of ARVI
The cause of the disease are viruses and microorganisms. Infection with viruses is more common (in 90% of cases). Microorganisms infection occurs in 10% of cases and the disease proceeds in a milder form. Accordingly, treatment of ARVI is prescribed, depending on the diagnosis and the identified infectious agent.
There are several types of infection: adenovirus, rhinovirus, coronavirus, metapneumovirus, respiratory syncytial, parainfluenza. The diagnosis is made by symptoms and epidemiological situation. If a certain type of influenza epidemic was announced and the first patients were tested, then the rest of the population is likely to be infected with the same virus.
Therefore, the diagnosis ascertain without conducting expensive research. Treatment of ARVI necessarily includes antiviral therapy, analgesics, antibacterial agents. If the temperature rises above 38º, it is recommended to use antipyretic drugs.
If the temperature does not rise above 38 º, many doctors advise not to rush to take drugs that lower the body temperature so that the body can cope with the infection. The patient must be placed in an isolated room and all gauze bandages should be used by all family members.
Be sure to carry out daily wet cleaning with an antiseptic, ventilate the room, wash the dishes with boiling water, because the infection is transmitted through saliva and mucus.
Means to combat ARVI:
- 1) Anti-inflammatory nonsteroid drugs such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, diclofenac.
- 2) Antihistamines for sensitivity to allergens;
- 3) Vasoconstrictor nasal drops;
- 4) drugs for sore throat;
- 5) Cough preparations.
Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is currently the only drug that is able to affect some ARVI pathogens, including influenza A and B viruses. In the complex, all drugs ease breathing, coughing, relieve tension in muscles, block the inflammatory process.
If the bronchi are affected by ARVI, then antibiotic therapy is carried out, antibiotics and phytoncides are prescribed. Although if there is only a viral infection, antibiotics are not prescribed, as they have no effect on viruses. Complications of ARVI can be bronchitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, pneumonia. Depending on the condition of the patient, appropriate therapy is carried out.
How to treat ARVI folk remedies
Traditional medicine offers many tools that effectively help to cope with the flu and SARS at home. These natural remedies include onions and garlic.
In the room where the patient is, you can put a container with grated garlic or onions. Phytoncides that make up these vegetables actively counteract viruses and bacteria. Well help inhalation of a solution of boiled water with the addition of grated cloves of garlic. Also used for inhalation eucalyptus oil, fir oil, extract of pine needles.
If against the background of acute respiratory viral infections bronchitis proceeds, then you can apply decoctions from the petals of mother – stepmother, wild rosemary, succession, licorice root and Althea. Such plants thin the mucus and help cough up. Against the background of parainfluenza, laryngitis most often occurs. Inflammation of the larynx can be treated with gargles from calendula, chamomile, eucalyptus decoctions.
Adenovirus infection is accompanied by pharyngitis, inflammation of the pharynx is also treated by rinsing and inhalation of essential oils. For symptomatic treatment, compresses on the forehead are made from a solution of vinegar and water (1/2 ratio), they help to reduce the temperature. With a strong cough and runny nose, it is recommended to use hot footbaths with the addition of dry mustard.
An effective method for colds is inhalation of boiled potatoes. Compresses from the potato in uniforms help get rid of cough. Prepare it as follows. Hot gauged potatoes are placed on the gauze in their skins, kneaded, sprinkled with alcohol and placed on the patient’s chest. Top cover with plastic wrap and towel. This compress can hold up to 30-50 minutes.
In case of ARVI disease, it is recommended to consume up to 2 liters of warm drink: milk, tea with raspberries, cranberry juice, dogrose broth, mineral water. If the patient coughs for a long time, you can give badger fat in a warm form, aloe with honey, and melted cocoa butter.
If the patient did not consult the doctor in time or did not observe bed rest, sometimes there are complications of ARVI. These include pneumonia, otitis media, purulent inflammation in the sinuses, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) or inflammation of the brain.
Against the background of acute respiratory viral infections acute chronic diseases. Often transferred colds complicate the kidneys, pyelonephritis develops. The disease of ARVI leads to inflammation in the bronchi, pharynx, larynx. It is important to treat bronchitis at an early stage, otherwise the chronic form of bronchitis, heart and respiratory failure may develop.
Prevention of SARS
Prevention measures include hardening, exercise, walking in the fresh air, and eating foods enriched with minerals and vitamins. These measures are aimed at improving the protective functions of a person, strengthening the immune system and strengthening the body.
During an epidemic, it is recommended to lubricate the nasal walls with oxolinic ointment with antiviral effects. Eating garlic, onions, cloves, these products are full of volatile production and help resist colds.
During an epidemic of influenza or ARVI, it is better to refrain from traveling in public transport, where a large crowd of people and the virus circulates. Private premises should be aired more often in order to reduce the concentration of bacteria and viruses, follow the rules of hygiene, and carry out wet cleaning every day.
A clean and proper lifestyle, a philosophical attitude to nature and people is the key to good health!
Which doctor to contact for treatment?
If, after reading the article, you assume that you have symptoms characteristic of this disease, then you should consult a general practitioner.