Conditions and Diseases
Swine Flu (H1N1/09)
Medication and Drugs
Cold and Flu
Questions and answers about the "Common Cold"; symptoms in the upper respiratory tract like sneezing, scratchy throat, and runny nose, but adults don't typically have fevers. Colds are usually caused by the rhinovirus (up to 40% of colds), or Coronaviruses (about 20%), but there are more than 200 viruses that can cause the common cold. Also questions about the seasonal flu, also called "regular flu", caused mostly by Type A and Type B Influenza viruses. Flu starts with similar symptoms as a cold only it hits faster and harder and usually includes fever in adults. Although the "stomach flu" is a common term, it is not a real diagnosis. The proper medical term for stomach flu is gastroenteritis (an intestinal disease, sometimes viral but also bacterial), it is often mistaken for influenza because the flu can sometimes include vomiting and diarrhea.
Why is the flu common in the winter, but less common in the summer?
In climates that experience winter, the influenza virus tends to survive longer and transmit itself better in cold and dry conditions, which leads to more people contracting the flu during those colder months. In climates that do not have a winter season, however, the flu is more common in periods of high humidity and lots of rain. Scientists aren’t sure why that is, but it doesn’t seem to have to do with the immune system...