Coughing, fever, headaches, and sore throats are all common symptoms of respiratory infections, including the common cold or flu. Studies have shown that common colds can affect all population groups, with adults experiencing an average of 2-3 colds per year, and children experiencing an average of 5-8 colds per year. Almost everyone has experienced a cold in their life, and colds and flu’s can have a negative impact on your day-to-day routine.
Cold and Flu Awareness
According to the Office of National Statistics, the 2020 Census reported over 20,500 people in England and Wales died due to the flu and pneumonia. GOV UK reported that in 2021-2022, flu activity was higher than that of the previous season, but lower than that of pre-pandemic seasons. It is important that we are aware of the seriousness of flu’s and how they can impact us.
To avoid spreading both the cold and flu, you can:
- Wash your hands often with warm water and soap
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Bin used tissues as quickly as possible
RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)
RSV kills around 100,000 children under the age of 5 every year worldwide. This lower respiratory infection is spread via coughing and sneezing and has no vaccine or specific treatment. Every year the British Lung Foundation warns parents of rises in RSV, as the early symptoms can be like a common cold. Dr Ultan Power has also warned that there is some evidence suggesting severe RSV in infants can lead to asthma.
If you think you have an RSV infection you should be careful and vigilant around young children. RSV can be presented as a normal cold for adults, but fatal for infants and children. A Randox Health cold, cough, and flu test measures 22 respiratory pathogens that can cause cold or flu like symptoms, including RSV A and RSV B.
Recovering from Colds and Flu’s
Your body will generally get better on its own after suffering from a cold or flu, however the NHS has advise both can be treated by:
- Getting plenty of rest and sleep
- Drinking water to avoid dehydration
- Gargling salt water to soothe sore throat
A pharmacist can help with colds and flu’s by recommending appropriate medicines. Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen can help to lower temperatures and ease aches, or relieve a blocked nose with decongestant sprays or tablets.
It is important to remember that antibiotics will not treat a cold or flu, as it is a viral infection rather than bacterial. A Randox Health cold, cough, and flu test will help determine the cause of your symptoms and the next steps to improve your health.
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Flu vaccines are available to people who require them. Adults can get a flu vaccine if they are 65 and over, have certain health conditions or weakened immune systems, or are pregnant. Most children can get a flu vaccine, with all primary school children receiving one, and children ages 2 to 17 with certain health conditions.
Understanding your Health
At Randox Health our comprehensive Cold, Cough, and Flu test detects 15 common viruses (excluding COVID-19) and 7 bacterial pathogens associated with both upper and lower respiratory tract infections.
The Cold, Cough, and Flu test is designed to give you a better understanding of your health, identify the cause of your symptoms, and give you the power to take back control of your health.