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Cold or real flu? – Medicine and health, medical specialists and wellness

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Cold or real flu?  – Medicine and health, medical specialists and wellness

Pharmacies explain differences and give treatment tips

Pharmacies advise: only use nasal spray for a few days! (Image source: © pixabay)

Stuttgart-Baden-Württemberg is coughing, sniffling and blowing the nose: Many people are currently suffering from coughs and runny noses. But is the illness just a harmless cold or is it a real flu? The State Pharmacists Association explains what the differences are between a cold and influenza, what you can do about it and when you should definitely go to a doctor’s office.

“Anyone who falls ill with a real viral flu, influenza, usually quickly develops a high fever, body aches and feels really sick and weak almost from one moment to the next,” reports Friederike Habighorst-Klemm, member of the board and patient representative of the State Pharmacists Association of Baden-Württemberg. Patients often also suffer from a dry cough and severe sore throats and headaches. “Flu patients rarely make it to our pharmacy; family members come here instead. If you suspect you have the flu, I always recommend consulting your family doctor. Because: A long-lasting fever with the flu can be very stressful for a body that may already be ill and can also affect the heart, for example. Sick people may then need a fever reducer to relieve the strain on the organism or other medication to relieve symptoms such as body aches,” explains the pharmacist. Good to know: In the case of viral flu, antibiotics are only recommended under special circumstances, as these do not help against viruses.

“Rest, drink a lot and provide the body with more protein, such as light meat, lentil dishes or dairy products, all support the body. In order to have clarity for yourself, you can buy tests at the pharmacy that prove whether there is an influenza infection or not – like with the corona tests,” advises Habighorst-Klemm.

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“Those who suffer from a cold or flu-like infection usually do not have a fever or only have a slightly elevated temperature,” explains Habighorst-Klemm. The nose is often blocked, patients complain of a cough or suffer from a sore throat. “With a normal cold, patients often still feel fit enough to go to work and come to our local pharmacy. The feeling of illness is not as overwhelming as with the flu. For people with colds, I recommend expectorant medications to combat coughs and runny noses, such as essential oils or herbal medicines such as thyme, ivy or primrose. These help to loosen mucus from the sinuses and bronchi. Gargling with salt water or inhaling with products that contain eucalyptus or other essential substances can also help to relieve the symptoms,” says Habighorst-Klemm. Nasal sprays can help in the short term against a blocked or constantly runny nose. However, the pharmacist emphasizes that these should be used for a maximum of a week, as this can lead to a habituation effect. “Patients who suffer from a cough or other persistent cold symptoms for a longer period of time, i.e. longer than 14 days, should also have this checked by a doctor. There is a risk that bacteria will have accumulated and an antibiotic will be necessary or the symptoms will become chronic.

Image source: © pixabay

The Rhineland-Palatinate Pharmacists Association e. V. – LAV represents the interests of independent pharmacists in Rhineland-Palatinate. He is a contractual partner of the health insurance companies and concludes contracts with them. Of the almost 850 pharmacy managers, around 95 percent are voluntary members of the association.

Pharmacists’ Association Rhineland-Palatinate e. V. – LAV
Petra Engel-Djabarian
Terrassenstr. 18
55116 Mainz
06131 20491-0

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