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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.

Asked in Cold and Flu, Medication and Drugs, Antibiotics, Penicillin

Does penicillin work on colds?

No. Penicillin and other antibiotics are only made for treating (or sometimes preventing) bacterial infections and have no effect on viral infections, such as colds and flu. You waste your money to take these for a cold unless the doctor is prescribing them for a secondary bacterial infection that you have along with the cold. They may seem to be making you feel better, but often that is just that by the time you give up and go to the doctor and...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Demographics, Death Rate

How many people die annually from flu?

It is estimated that 36,000 people die each year, in the US alone, from seasonal flu. ...
Asked in Conditions and Diseases, Cold and Flu, Immune System

Does having a cold affect your immune system?

Yes, your immune system is triggered to fight the cold and the immune system starts that process with an immune response. It gets busy making your body create a hostile environment for the virus (with fever and other metabolic changes) as well as producing antibodies to disable the cold virus particles. ...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Vaccinations, Swine Flu (H1N1/09)

What is attenuated flu vaccine?

Attenuated simply means "weakened". An attenuated flu vaccine refers to vaccines made with live viruses (so you get a good immune response), but they have been weakened chemically so that they are unable to give you the flu. There are two types of flu vaccines available in the US. What is called inactivated, inactive or "dead" vaccine and what is called "live", weakened/attenuated vaccine. The injectable vaccines (intradermal and intramuscular) are made with "dead" viruses and the nasal spray is made with "live"...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Infectious Diseases, Stomach Flu

Is the stomach flu airborne?

It is airborne after someone vomits or has diarrhea. Because it a virus, it can be on surfaces or in undercooked food. ...
Asked in Health, Cold and Flu, Respiratory System

What is the speed of the average sneeze?

An average sneeze comes from your mouth and nose at somewhere between 40 and 100 mph. There can be variation: This was tested on MythBusters and they found their fastest sneeze being 39 mph. Not to say some people don't sneeze faster, but 102 mph is the fastest recorded speed. The world record has been said to be at 115 km per hour [71.5 mph]. The average person can sneeze as fast as up to 700mph. 100 MPH. ...
Asked in Cold and Flu

Does Cipro help with cold or flu?

No. Cipro ONLY works on bacterial infections. When you catch a cold or the flu you do not have a bacterial infection, you have a virus. No antibiotics work on any type of viral infections. ...
Asked in Cold and Flu

Is there a new flu going around fall 2017?

Yes, and since the new flu that caused the pandemic in 2009 (H1N1/09 "Swine flu") there have been other new types identified (and even some new strains of avian flu have been identified) around the world. The viruses that cause the flu are mutating into new types of flu all the time. Cold viruses also mutate easily and quickly, this is a reason that vaccines can not be developed in time before they mutate again leaving the vaccine ineffective). Sometimes our immune...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Symptoms, Swine Flu (H1N1/09)

Why do you get the chills with flu?

It is usually because you have a fever, and the way the body deals with a fever is by sweating to cool itself by evaporation, just like it does when you are out in the heat of summer and start sweating to cool off. Being hot also will dilate your blood vessels of the skin to move more heat out of the body faster. But you usually don't feel the chill (or as much) when you cool off if the heat...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Genetics, Definitions, Medical Definitions and Word Differences

What does mutates mean?

Mutates-- Undergoes a spontaneous change in the make-up of genes or chromosomes. ...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Vaccinations

Why do flu vaccines not provide life long immunity?

There are different kinds of influenza. So a vaccine against one, usually won't be effective against another. Also, the flu virus mutates easily and rapidly. When it mutates, the old vaccine is may no longer be effective, depending on how different the mutation is to the original strain. It is also under study to determine if there is a gradual loss of immunity from flu over long time periods as some believe occurs in some people with use of some vaccines and...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Medication and Drugs, Symptoms

What do you take for a bad cough mostly at night?

Home remedy: After a gargle with warm salt water, take few drops of ground basil leaf with some juice of ginger mixed in a spoon of honey. You will be relieved of an irritating cough for the night. Or else take some powdered white pepper in a spoon of honey to calm down your throat. Cough medicines: Cough preparations available over the counter can help significantly. Try one with guaifenesin as the main active ingredient to loosen and help expectorate mucus and phlegm. Ask your...
Asked in Conditions and Diseases, Cold and Flu

Why does the common cold continue to plague humans?

The viruses that cause the common cold mutate often and rapidly. Too quickly for us to prepare a vaccine before it changes again. They are working on a cure by approaching the "attack" on the virus from a different direction. The viral antigens can be neutralized as they currently are ~ by antibodies attaching to the antigen coat. Research is underway to change the attack from the coat to the stem of the virus, and then it doesn't matter how much or how...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Infectious Diseases, Swine Flu (H1N1/09), Viruses (biological)

Can you get the flu twice in the same season?

Catching Flu Twice in a Season Yes, you can. But, it would have to be a different strain or type of the influenza-virus than you previously had (if you are otherwise healthy and have a well-functioning immune system). You would need to be exposed to a different flu virus to get it a second time because your body will have created antibodies to destroy that particular flu virus the first time you had it, and a second exposure that soon should not be...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Vaccinations

What is the difference between live vaccine and dead vaccine?

"Live" vaccines contain weakened samples of the pathogen to be immunized against which are chemically treated to make them unable to make you sick, but will still cause an immune response to create the desired immunity. These are called Live Attenuated Vaccines (attenuated just means weakened). "Dead" vaccines have partial particles or totally inactivated/"dead" samples of the pathogen. With virus vaccines, usually live vaccines are given by intra-nasal spray and dead vaccines are given by injection. ...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Vaccinations, Swine Flu (H1N1/09)

Can a flu shot cause cellulitis?

Yes, there can be a local infection from a contaminated needle from a flu shot and that would be called cellulitis. However, many people can get a red, sore, slightly swollen area at the flu injection site from the desired immune response. This usually goes away in a few days. It gets better from exercising the muscle into which the shot was injected. If it is more than two days after the shot and the redness or inflammation is still increasing,...
Asked in Health, Cold and Flu, Viruses (biological)

How long does a cold virus live in your home?

It can last up to 2 weeks. The length of time that cold or flu germs can survive outside the body on an environmental surface, such as a doorknob, varies greatly. But the suspected range is from a few seconds to 48 hours - depending on the specific virus and the type of surface. Flu viruses tend to live longer on surfaces than cold viruses do. Also, it's generally believed that cold and flu viruses live longer on nonporous surfaces - such...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Oral Health and Dental Care, Dentists, Tamiflu

Can a dentist write a prescription for Tamiflu?

There are guidelines they must follow. Any departure from that is inappropriate. They can if it involves head and neck and adjacent structures of mouth and sinus as related to dentistry ...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Yeast Infections

Can the flu shot cause yeast infection?

No. Yeast infections can be caused by a number of factors, but there is no link between flu shots and yeast infections. Yeast infections most commonly occur for the following reasons: 1. Sexual intercourse Although a yeast infection is not an STD, it can be caused by having sex or any other kind of penetration. Penetration can change the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina or the pH level, which may make you more susceptible to infections. This does not mean that...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Sanitization and Germs

How long does a cold or flu like the swine flu virus live on surfaces?

Flu Virus Life on Surfaces: Different time frames are found referenced about the length of time influenza viruses can remain viable on surfaces outside a living host, but for most environments it is most often quoted that they can "live" for 24 to 48 hours on nonporous environmental surfaces and less than 12 hours on porous surfaces before becoming inert. Some of the study variations on this include: From the UK National Health Service (NHS): "The flu virus can live on a hard surface...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Meteorology and Weather, 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...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Fevers

Is 101.4 a high fever for a 7 year old boy?

Fever is a sign of the body fighting some sort of infection. 101.4 is not a very high fever. Fevers generally will reduce in a day to a few days time, with rest and fluids. A fever generally does not go higher than 105-106.2 degrees. If it does go above or the fever persists, visit a doctor. ...
Asked in Health, Conditions and Diseases, Cold and Flu, Symptoms

What causes you to have a cold sweat?

Cold Sweats: this symptom can be caused by various bodily reactions or disorders such as: Vertigo/syncope/dizziness/feeling lightheaded or faint Pain Fear Anxiety/panic disorder Low blood sugars or insulin reactions Drug reactions or side effects Hormone imbalances such as during menopause Low blood pressure Chest pain or heart attack Systemic shock (e.g., from low blood volume/bleeding, toxic or septic shock) Heat exhaustion or shock Serious systemic diseases such as AIDS, Mononucleosis, TB, Sickle Cell Anemia, leukemia, cancer, etc Migraines Drug abuse (e.g., cocaine, ecstasy) Drug addiction to narcotics like heroin, codeine, morphine, Demerol Influenza and other...
Asked in Cold and Flu, Medication and Drugs, Infectious Diseases, Antibiotics, Swine Flu (H1N1/09), Tamiflu

Is Tamiflu an antibiotic?

No. Tamiflu is an antiviral that makes it harder for the flu virus to spread within the body. Antibiotics fight bacteria which would be useless on the flu which is a virus not a bacteria. ...