What is the difference between the flu and the acute respiratory viral infections? How do doctors advise against these diseases?
SARS and influenza are diseases that have a very similar nature of origin and treatment strategy. Then why exactly the flu and its epidemics say so much in society every year, while no one mentions the usual viral infections. Everything is simple – the flu proceeds more difficult and often causes serious health and even human life complications. That’s why it’s so important for him to warn and learn more about the disease.
Symptoms of influenza and acute respiratory viral infections and differences in their manifestation
Acute respiratory viral infection – an infectious disease caused by the introduction of a specific virus into the human body. Most often it is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, when the nose, throat is affected. Diseases of the lower respiratory tract – bronchitis and pneumonia, they can also be caused by a virus, and can also bacteria. However, most often they become complications after the severe course of acute respiratory infections.
Influenza is a viral infection caused by a certain strain of the influenza virus, which differs from the usual acute respiratory infections as follows:
can cause the epidemic, reaching a large number of people;
proceeds hard, gives great mortality, leads to complications;
there are antiviral drugs against proven efficacy (oseltamivir, zanamivir), whereas anti-acute respiratory viral antiviral drugs do not have proven efficacy.
The main differences between acute respiratory infections and flu:
The onset of the disease. With ARI it is gradual, with a flu – a sharp one.
Fever. With ARI, the temperature rarely rises above the mark at 38.5 ° C, with a flu – the temperature rises sharply and high – to 39-40 ° C. It’s harder to beat than it, and it lasts 3-4 days in a row.
Intoxication of the body. In acute respiratory infections, a person can maintain efficiency, with a flu – no. Influenza indicates symptoms of intoxication such as chills, severe sweating, very strong headache, pain in the eyeballs, fear of light, joint pain and muscles.
Undesirability and nasal congestion. Severe runny nose is characteristic of acute respiratory infections, and for flu, the nasal congestion from about the second day of the disease.
Pain and redness of the throat. These are symptoms of acute respiratory infections, sometimes with a flu.
Cough. In acute respiratory infections, coughing is manifest almost immediately and is moderate. The flu is characterized by a strong, uncomfortable cough and pain in the trachea area about 2 days after the onset of the disease.
Sweeping Often accompanied by SARS, rarely an influenza.
Red eye Rarely occurs in acute respiratory viral infections, often with influenza.
When should I contact a doctor?
The doctor should apply for the first manifestations of the disease. However, if this opportunity is not immediately available, a visit is obligatory under the following conditions:
Body temperature around 40 ° C.
Temperature above 39 ° C for more than 3 consecutive days.
Deterioration after improvement.
Pain in the chest, unable to breathe deeply. In this case, it is necessary for the physician to listen to the patient with a stethoscope.
Disorientation in space, disturbance of consciousness.
Patient at risk: pregnant women, persons over 65 years of age, patients with chronic diseases.
How to treat flu and acute respiratory infections
Since the flu is a viral infection, there is no particular difference in its treatment and there are no acute respiratory viral infections. Doctors are advised to drink plenty of warm liquids, keep the optimum temperature regime of air and humidity (in the room should be 18-20 ° C, humidity 50-70 mmHg), often ventilate the room, do a wet cleaning.
Do not recommend special medications. For the control of a fever at home, preparations based on paracetamol and ibuprofen are suitable. Symptomatic treatment is prescribed from nasal congestion and throat pain.
If the flu is severe, the patient will be offered hospitalization, where the flu will be treated with antiviral drugs with proven efficacy.
Influenza and acute respiratory infections are viral diseases that have become familiar to us in the autumn-winter period. However, this does not mean that they do not need to be treated seriously. A complicated flu can really take life. Therefore, if there is such an opportunity, it is necessary to make a preventive vaccination against this illness. If the first symptoms of influenza or acute respiratory viral infections occur, consult a physician.