A large number of people are struck down by the viruses that cause cold and flu, every year. And yet, many people do not know the difference between the cold and flu, what causes them and what can be done to protect themselves from these illnesses in the winter.
Symptoms of cold
A cold is a mild viral infection affecting the nose and throat. It is a very common condition and clears itself up normally within a week or two. If you have a cold, you will experience:
In contrast, the flu is a respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. The symptoms of flu manifest themselves suddenly and seem quite similar to those of a common cold. But its symptoms are usually more severe. The flu can also result in further complications such as pneumonia. Getting enough rest is important to beat the flu, whose symptoms include:
People mistakenly believe that one gets a cold or flu with a dip in temperature. Though it is observed that more people get the cold and flu viruses during the winter, the fact is that both these illnesses are caused not by temperature changes but by the cold and flu viruses. These viruses have many different strains and all of them are highly contagious. It is important to protect our families against these illnesses.
The most common ways in which we contract cold and flu include:
- Touching a surface contaminated with the viruses that cause cold or flu, and then touching the eyes, nose or mouth
- Inhaling the virus when an infected person sneezes or coughs close to us.
Tips for cold and flu prevention
Doctors recommend plenty of rest and drinking fluids to cure the cold and flu, but you can take certain steps to ensure that these illnesses do not strike you or your family in the first place. Follow these tips to stop the spread of flu and cold virus:
- Keep your house clean. Objects or surfaces contaminated with harmful germs abound in the house, and we may end up touching them. After this, we might touch our eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands, thus allowing the germs to spread to our bodies. We can stop this spread of infection by cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces and door handles in our home with Dettol Disinfectant Multi-Use Hygiene Liquid. At work, you can clean your phone, keyboard, phone and other germ sites with anti-bacterial wipes.
- Be mindful when you sneeze or cough. It is better to be careful about containing the spread of flu and cold germs when you are suffering from the illness. Always sneeze or cough into a tissue to protect those around you. Also, throw away any used tissues at once and clean your hands using Dettol Original Liquid Hand Wash.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth. The cold and flu viruses enter the body through the mouth, eyes and nose, so you should avoid touching these areas until you have washed and sanitised your hands first.
- Use your own cup, spoons, napkins, etc. You can contain the spread of harmful germs by using your own personal items instead of sharing them with others. The flu symptoms take a few days to develop, so it’s better to be cautious about sharing your personal items, even with healthy individuals.
- Clean your clothes. Illness-causing germs can cling to your clothes, too. If you or a family member has been suffering from cold or flu, it is best to clean your clothes thoroughly with Disinfectant Multi-Use Hygiene Liquid or Dettol Antiseptic Liquid added to your laundry to kill the germs.
- Care for yourself. You can remain fit and healthy for long with a healthy and balanced diet and sufficient sleep, to strengthen your immune system. Avoid close contact with those struck down by cold or flu.
- Good hand hygiene is vital. Most people end up passing the cold and flu viruses to others via their hands, so start practicing good hygiene. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with warm water and Dettol Original Liquid Hand Wash. You can stay protected even out of doors and when you are away from soap and water by using Dettol Liquid Hand Sanitiser to clean your hands.
- Teach your children good hygiene habits. Children are more susceptible to cold and flu viruses, especially in a closed nursery or school environment. Teach your children good hand hygiene and encourage them to wash their hands often with soap and water, even at school. You can get more information with our step-by-step handwashing guide here.
The highly contagious cold and flu viruses can spread quickly, so being aware about them and their symptoms helps. A few extra precautions can protect you and your loved ones. Get enough rest and wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with Dettol soap and water to stop the spread of harmful germs.