I understand the difference between the COVID-19, flu and cold.

What is a cold?

A cold is a viral illness that usually causes cough, snot, sore throat, headache and fever (less than 38ºC). It usually starts in the nose and throat, and can go down to the bronchial tubes. It is a mild condition that takes a few days to heal but can aggravate other diseases such as asthma or pulmonary emphysema.

There are more than 200 viruses that can cause a cold. That is why there is a vaccine for the flu and not a single one for colds.

What is the flu?

The flu is also a viral illness, which is easily spread. The flu starts abruptly and causes high fever (39-40°C), cough, headache and general malaise. The flu can last between one and two weeks, and medication can be taken to relieve the symptoms (painkillers and fever medication). With people with other diseases, it can cause complications, so vaccination is recommended to avoid infection.

This year, for the first time, it is also recommended for children from 6 to 59 months because they are the age group that suffers the most from flu and can present complications.

What is COVID-19?

Although the health crisis was declared over in May 2023, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is still circulating.

Most people develop a mild respiratory illness with fever above 37.5°C, head and neck pain, dry cough, generalized joint and/or muscle pain, nasal cold, vomiting and/or diarrhea. Symptoms usually last 2 to 3 weeks. If there is sudden shortness of breath or fever sustained for days, contact your referring healthcare professional at the CAP or you can call 061 Salut Respon.

Mild symptoms are treated like the flu or a cold, and medication may be taken for symptoms.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is the most effective measure to reduce the risk of getting sick and avoid complications.

How to fight the symptoms

Nasal congestion:
Nasal sprays with oxymetazoline or similar. Also, natural sprays with hypertonic water and eucalyptus essence.

Cold and flu:
Combinations of pain relievers and medications to stop a runny nose. Essential oils of ceylon cinnamon, eucalyptus, and peppermint (phytotherapy).

Sore throat:
Anti-inflammatories by mouth or in the form of candies. There are also candies of ravitsara and clove essential oils (phytotherapy).

Dry cough:
Syrups of dextromethorphan, cloperastine. Syrups of Malva and drosera or gout herb (phytotherapy).

Productive cough:
Syrups of ambroxol, acetylcysteine. Ivy syrup (phytotherapy).

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