Infectious Diseases
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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...

Does being out in the cold make you sick?

You can get sick from exposure to cold weather without shelter, but it won't be from an infection, it will be due to tissue damage, frostbite, etc. Colds and flu have long been thought to be caused by being cold and/or wet. This has been proven incorrect by numerous studies. Being in the hot or cold weather can not put virus particles in your body. Viruses are what give you a cold or flu. Pneumonia is usually caused by a virus or...

What are the symptoms of the flu?

Some symptoms of the flu are elevated fever, continual cough, fatigue, vomiting, chills/sweating. these may be symptoms of other diseases or viruses but they are common in the flu and the cold. ...

What does it mean when you cough up green phlegm?

It usually will mean you have a respiratory system infection (like bronchitis). Check your temperature so you can tell your health care professional if you have had any fever. They should be contacted because it could be something that will need immediate treatment. ...