The Myths About Cold & Flu

Myths about cold and flu

Every time you catch a cold or flu, bet money that everyone you meet will try and give you some handy advice.

Many of this advices are stories connected to both colds and flu, who gets it, how it spreads, what we must and shouldn’t do to avoid it, and so on – it ends up being difficult to separate fact from fiction. However, let’s take a look at some of the most regularly heard myths about cold and flu, to understand what’s true, and what is not!

  1. Having flu is like having a heavy cold

FALSE: While it’s a widely accepted fact that cold and flu symptoms, like coughing, a blocked nose or headaches, can look like the same, or at least be extremely similar, they are completely two different illnesses. Certain cold and flu remedies are suitable for both conditions as they afford you with the same symptom relief, irrespective of whether it’s cold or flu. But, generally speaking, flu symptoms are always more severe and they last longer. The viruses that cause flu are different from the one that cause colds, which is why there are symptoms like sudden rise in temperature, leaving you with fever, which is normally accompanied with a cold. In rare cases, flu can lead to complications in the very young and elderly age group. However, for majority of people, flu is nothing to be concerned about and you must feel better within a few days.

  1. Flu can be treated with antibiotics

FALSE: Antibiotics are only useful in case of bacterial infections. However, as cold and flu are caused by viruses, antibiotics will be absolutely useless.

  1. Fit and healthy people don’t get colds and flu

FALSE: Anybody, young or old, fit or otherwise, can fall ill because of cold or flu virus. Similarly, we all have the ability to pass on the virus. But the fact is that those of us with certain conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, can be at risk of going through complications if infected with the flu virus. So, if you feel that you are going to come down with cold or flu, you should take required precautions and not pass it onto anyone by coughing and sneezing into tissues, and disposing them ASAP.

  1. You will catch a cold or flu if you get cold or wet

FALSE: Being cold wont simply result in you ‘catching a cold’ as if it had appeared out of nowhere, however if your body gets cold and wet, it can make your body susceptible to developing a cold and flu virus. In such a situation, the virus could end up multiplying, which could lead to flu or cold symptoms. So, wrapping in warm clothing during winters and keeping oneself dry when it’s wet may stop a dominant virus from becoming active.

  1. You can only catch cold and flu through breathing the same air as an infected person

FALSE: It is certainly a truth that cold and flu viruses can travel through the air. So, when someone infected with one if these viruses end up sneezing or coughing close to you, there are chances of you getting infected. However, these viruses are not only spread through the air. Coming in contact with an infected surface could transfer the virus onto your hands. Infected surfaces can be a telephone, handle of the door, computer keyboard or a child’s toy, for instance. On a hard surface, a flu virus can survive for 24 hours. Once on your hands, it can enter your body whenever you rub your eyes, or touch your nose or mouth. The idea is to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly if you have a cold or flu, or if you’re in an environment where someone else is down with the infection.

We hope that with the help of the above article we have managed to clear few of the ‘myths’. However, if you are ever in doubt about what to do about your colds or flu, it is always better to consult your medical professional.