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Flus and Colds

Posted BY Ms. Site Admin
Posted in: Chest Infections

It’s easy to diagnose yourself with a cold when you are feeling unwell. But a cold isn’t always just a cold. It’s important to be able to tell the difference between the Cold and something more serious so you can get the medical attention you need.

If you think you have "just a cold" but are concerned it could be something more, it’s best to err on the safe side and visit your doctor. (We can include link for Daktari Africa Consultations here)This is especially true if you have a chronic condition such as severe, , kidney disease, , or an autoimmune disease. The same goes for pregnant women and anyone under age six or over 65—the common cold affects these groups of people differently and can be more serious than it is for healthy individuals.

The common cold tends to clear up on its own in three to four days, it starts with a scratchy throat, congestion, and runny nose, and then a cough usually develops. While your cough and post-nasal drip may linger, most should disappear after four days. If symptoms last for longer, it is possible you have something more worrisome, such as flu. To be safe, make an appointment with your physician. If you thought you recovered from your illness but your symptoms reappeared shortly after, it could be a sign of a rebound illness or "superinfection,”. You may have had a cold initially, but once your immune system was compromised, you developed something more serious—think strep throat, pneumonia, or a sinus infection. Book an appointment with your Doctor to determine whether or not you need additional treatment, such as antibiotics. . (We can put a hyperlink for Daktari Africa booking of appointment)

Recent international travel is a red flag for doctors because it could mean you have a less-conventional infection they wouldn’t have normally considered. It’s important to see a doctor if you have any symptoms after returning from a trip abroad.

Comment:Even though a cough is a normal symptom of a cold, it should not be so severe that it causes shortness of breath, wheezing, or chest pain. These symptoms should not be ignored, since breathing trouble could be a sign of or pneumonia, while chest pain, tightness, and sudden shortness of breath could signal a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot blockage in the lungs).

—Dr. Melisa Lai Becker, Cambridge Health Alliance,US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health,One Medical Group,Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH),Dr. Stella Safo, Mount Sinai Hospital.


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