Distinguishing Between Influenza And Pneumonia Signs And Symptoms
Influenza, the flu, generally comes on suddenly and it arrives with a fever, dry cough, chills and sweats, absent appetite, stuffy nose, and head-to-toe body aches. Other symptoms that may accompany the flu include diarrhea, headache, sore throat, and nausea.
Pneumonia symptoms typically involve coughing with phlegm, fever with chills, absent appetite, confusion, chest pains worsening with breathing or coughing, headaches, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Unlike the flu, pneumonia symptoms come on gradually and do not cause aches and pains as the flu does.
As you can see, the flu and pneumonia do share many common symptoms, but it is the onset of these symptoms that could be an early indicator of what exactly you may have.
Difference Between A Cold And The Flu
Differentiating COVID-19 and cold is already hard enough. How about differentiating between a cold and flu? Read this article to know the differences.
|Is caused by influenza viruses.|
|Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, and a sore throat.||Symptoms include high fever, body aches, and fatigue.|
|Considered as less serious.||Considered more serious and might require hospitalization.|
|No long-term ill effects.|
|Vaccines are available every year and recommended to get.|
|Occurs all year, but mainly during winter.||Occurs between October and May.|
The common cold and the flu are both respiratory infections, but they are caused by different viruses. The common cold is caused by rhinoviruses, while the flu is caused by influenza viruses.
The symptoms of the common cold and the flu are also different. The common cold typically causes a runny nose, sneezing, and a sore throat. The flu, on the other hand, typically causes a high fever, body aches, and fatigue.
The common cold is also typically less serious than the flu. Most people with the common cold will recover within a week or two. The flu, on the other hand, can be a more serious illness and can lead to hospitalization in some cases.
Cold is treated mainly symptomatically while flu needs more aggressive treatment with antiviral drugs.
Why Is Pneumonia Dangerous What Are The Possible Complications Of Leaving This Condition Untreated
Pneumonia can usually be treated successfully without leading to complications. However, complications like the ones listed below can develop in some patients, especially those in high-risk groups.
Fluid or pus could get accumulated between the covering of the lungs and the inner lining of the chest wall this is called a pleural effusion . A chest tube may be needed to drain the fluid/pus.
Pus might collect in the lung area infected with pneumonia . Rarely this may require surgery.
Bacteria can spread to the bloodstream and other organs. This is a serious complication since the infection can cause the blood pressure to be dangerously low.
Although most people recover from pneumonia, it can be fatal in some cases. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of patients admitted to a general medical ward, and almost 30 percent of patients with severe infection admitted to an intensive care unit can die.
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Is It The Flu Or Is It A Cold
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a flu and a cold. At first glance, they are similar but very different diseases. Cold symptoms are usually mild while flu symptoms are more severe. In addition, colds are common and mainly infect the nose and throat, while the less common flu can also affect the lungs.
|Usually high , suddent, lasting 3-4 days|
|Extreme, can last up to one month|
|Loss of appetite|
|Common and can become persistent|
|Complications||Sinus congestion and ear aches||Life threathening bronchitis and pneumonia|
|N.B. If any of these symptoms persist, please see your doctor.|
Is It The Flu
Common signs of the flu include fever, cough, congestion, body aches and chills.
Sometimes younger children will have vomiting or diarrhea,but typically its more of a respiratory condition, Dr. Sniderman says.Call the doctor right away if your child is not eating or drinking, noturinating, or is acting much more tired or irritable than usual, she advises.
Its especially important to call the doctor when you suspect flu if your child has an underlying medical condition such as asthma or diabetes. Children who have these conditions are at higher risk of developing complications.
Dr. Sniderman recommends getting a flu shot for any child older than 6 months to help head off serious illness.
The best way to prevent getting the flu is by getting the flu vaccine, she says. Even if you get the flu after you get a flu shot, your symptoms wont be as severe and youll be less likely to experience complications such as pneumonia.
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Key Points About Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an infection of one or both of the lungs caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.
There are more than 30 different causes of pneumonia, and theyre grouped by the cause. The main types of pneumonia are bacterial, viral, and mycoplasma pneumonia.
A cough that produces green, yellow, or bloody mucus is the most common symptom of pneumonia. Other symptoms include fever, shaking chills, shortness of breath, low energy, and extreme tiredness.
Pneumonia can often be diagnosed with a thorough history and physical exam. Tests used to look at the lungs, blood tests, and tests done on the sputum you cough up may also be used.
Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have. Antibiotics are used for bacterial pneumonia. It may also speed recovery from mycoplasma pneumonia and some special cases. Most viral pneumonias dont have a specific treatment and just get better on their own. Other treatment may include a healthy diet, more fluids, rest, oxygen therapy, and medicine for pain, cough, and fever control.
Most people with pneumonia respond well to treatment, but pneumonia can cause serious lung and infection problems. It can even be deadly.
Differences In Symptoms Of Covid
COVID-19 and flu have different incubation periods . Those infected with COVID-19 can start showing symptoms 2-14 days after becoming infected, whereas flu has an incubation period of 1-4 days.
Though they share many symptoms, some symptoms are more common in one virus than another. For example, body aches, headaches and chills are common flu symptoms that only appear sometimes in someone with COVID-19.
On the other hand, shortness of breath and respiratory issues are common signs of COVID-19, but are less common in someone with flu.
Flu symptoms also appear abruptly, whereas COVID-19 symptoms may develop more gradually.
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Can I Prevent Pneumonia
The routine vaccinations that most people receive as kids help prevent certain types of pneumonia and other infections. If you have a chronic illness, such as sickle cell disease, you may have received extra vaccinations and disease-preventing antibiotics to help prevent pneumonia and other infections caused by bacteria.
People should get a pneumococcal vaccination if they have diseases that affect their immune system , are 65 years or older, or are in other high-risk groups. Depending on the bugs that are likely to affect them, these people also may get antibiotics to prevent pneumonia, as well as antiviral medicine to prevent or lessen the effects of viral pneumonia.
Doctors recommend that everyone 6 months and older get an annual flu shot. That’s because someone with the flu could then come down with pneumonia. Call your doctor’s office or check your local health department to see when these vaccines are available.
Because pneumonia is often caused by germs, a good way to prevent it is to keep your distance from anyone you know who has pneumonia or other respiratory infections. Use separate drinking glasses and eating utensils wash your hands often with warm, soapy water and avoid touching used tissues and paper towels.
You also can stay strong and help avoid some of the illnesses that might lead to pneumonia by eating as healthily as possible, getting a minimum of 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night, and not smoking.
What Other Problems Can Pneumonia Cause
Sometimes pneumonia can cause serious complications such as:
- Bacteremia, which happens when the bacteria move into the bloodstream. It is serious and can lead to .
- Lung abscesses, which are collections of pus in cavities of the lungs
- Pleural disorders, which are conditions that affect the pleura. The pleura is the tissue that covers the outside of the lungs and lines the inside of your chest cavity.
- Respiratory failure
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Influenza Vs Pneumonia: Us Prevalence And Incidence Rates
Children and seniors are at the highest risk of complications and even death resulting from pneumonia. In 2015, 922,000 children under the age of five died as a result of pneumonia worldwide. In the U.S., pneumonia-related deaths were 53,282 in 2010, with 1.1 million Americans being discharged from the hospital after pneumonia recovery.
Influenza is a seasonal illness, taking place predominately during the late fall and winter. The annual rate of influenza worldwide is five to 10 percent in adults, and 20 to 30 percent in children. During peak flu season, hospitals can be overwhelmed with patients. The impact of pandemic results in high numbers of absenteeism and productivity losses.
People At Higher Risk From Flu
Anyone can get sick with flu, even healthy people, and serious problems related to flu can happen to anyone at any age, but some people are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions , pregnant people and children younger than 5 years, but especially those younger than 2 years old.
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How To Spot Key Differences Between Flu And Pneumonia
While the aforementioned tests and an evaluation by a physician are the only way to determine with certainty if you have the flu or pneumonia , there are indeed some ways you can make an educated guess by looking at symptoms and considering your overall health, your age, and any complications or risk factors.
The first and perhaps most important point to note is that it is extremely rare for healthy adults to have pneumonia. If you fall in the healthy adults category, you are more than likely experiencing the flu or some other type of virus.
That said, it is not out of the realm of possibility to have pneumonia, so we will take a look at the symptoms below to compare the two.
Difference Between Flu And Pneumonia
Categorized under Health | Difference Between Flu and Pneumonia
Flu vs Pneumonia
With so many health scares nowadays, it is imperative that you should obtain as much information as you can. However, for many of us, there can be a lot of confusion when it comes to identifying even the most common of sickness.
Catching flu is totally different from having pneumonia. The source of each illness is often different therefore treatment is certainly dissimilar. The confusion often starts from the initial symptoms since there are lots of similarities in the warning signs of both sicknesses.
When they progress, a definite difference will become evident but it is often the point where a person feels better or become worse. In most cases, a person who feels better after a week or two, most likely, had the flu. On the other hand, the person who turned for the worse has pneumonia.
When it comes to severity, pneumonia is often the more serious illness but it should be noted that some types of flu can also be deadly. Flu is caused by the influenza virus while pneumonia, which can also be caused by a virus, is often brought about by a bacterial infection. The flu virus usually attacks the upper respiratory tract of the body such as nose, throat, and respiratory tubes.
The most important thing to remember is that when a certain illness is going on for more than a week, it is best to go to the doctor and get checked. Some would even get check-ups a few days after the onset.
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Who Are At Risk Of Developing Covid
Some people are at a higher risk for developing COVID-19 pneumonia. It totally depends on the individual’s health conditions. Some of the other risk factors include:
Older adults or adults who are 65 years up are at an increased risk for serious illness due to COVID-19.
#Underlying Health Complications
An individual who is suffering from other health complications such as – asthma, diabetes, liver diseases, obesity, and kidney illnesses is at higher risk of catching COVID-19 pneumonia.
#Weak Immunity System
Another most important risk factor is a weakened immune system. Being immunocompromised can raise the risk of serious COVID-19 pneumonia disease.
How Can I Help Myself Feel Better
If your doctor has prescribed medicine, follow the directions carefully.
You may feel better in a room with a humidifier, which increases the moisture in the air and soothes irritated lungs. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, especially if you have a fever. If you have a fever and feel uncomfortable, ask the doctor whether you can take over-the-counter medicine such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring it down. But don’t take any medicine without checking first with your doctor a cough suppressant, for example, may not allow your lungs to clear themselves of mucus.
And finally, be sure to rest. This is a good time to sleep, watch TV, read, and lay low. If you treat your body right, it will repair itself and you’ll be back to normal in no time.
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Cold Flu Bronchitis And Pneumonia The Difference Explained
With the colder weather will come a range of winter illnesses the dreaded flu, cold, bronchitis and pneumonia. Are these all just a difference of degree or are they different conditions? The confusion stems from the similarity of symptoms. Although they are mostly respiratory in nature, they are very different based on whether they are caused a virus or bacteria, the organ they attack and the treatment they receive.
The common cold
Lets start with the common cold. Called so because it is the most common infectious disease in the world. It is caused by a virus and has 200 known strains. Thats why even if our body develops antibodies to one strain, we could get a cold from another. Thats the reason children get 5-10 colds a year and most adults get only 2-4. And since antibiotics dont kill viruses, no medication is recommended for the common cold, although OTC drugs could help ease some of the symptoms. Colds are very rarely seriously.
The flu is completely different from the common cold. It is caused by the Influenza A or B virus. It is accompanied by high fever and for vulnerable groups with low immunity a flu can be quite serious and in some cases life-threatening. It is usually accompanied by high temperature. Speak to your GP if youd like to know more about the flu vaccination. The government offers them free for some high-risk groups. However, the flu virus mutates very quickly and the vaccine does not provide protection against all strains.
How Can I Help My Child Feel Better
Your child should drink fluids throughout the day, especially if he or she has a fever. Ask the doctor before you use a medicine to treat a cough. Cough suppressants stop the lungs from clearing mucus, which might not be helpful for lung infections like walking pneumonia.
If your child has chest pain, try placing a heating pad or warm compress on the area. Take your child’s temperature at least once each morning and each evening. Call the doctor if it goes above 102°F in an older infant or child, or above 100.4°F in an infant under 6 months of age.
With treatment, most types of bacterial pneumonia go away within 1 to 2 weeks. Coughing can take up to 4 to 6 weeks to stop.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Common Cold
The common cold is a simple illness that typically is not a serious infection. Its little more than a nuisance unless, of course, you’re the one with the cold symptoms.
“Colds are caused by viruses, and the most common virus that causes the cold is rhinovirus,” says Aaron M. Milstone, MD, assistant professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore.
While a common cold is no fun to deal with, it is not as dangerous as the influenza virus, which can spread to other people more quickly, and even kill, adds Dr. Milstone. There are also far fewer hospitalizations associated with the common cold than with the flu, he adds.
The symptoms of the common cold often include:
- Some muscle aches and headaches
- Low or no fever
Generally, says Milstone, people feel bad and a little run down for a couple of days, then start to perk up as the cold runs its course.
A good way to tell whether you have the common cold or the flu is by how quickly the symptoms appear. Symptoms of the common cold take their time. Flu symptoms, on the other hand, hit fast.
What Are The Symptoms Of The Flu
While the flu is also caused by a virus, it’s a whole different kind of illness. Cold symptoms are relatively mild, whereas the flu causes much more severe symptoms.
“Influenza can really wipe out even a healthy person,” says Milstone.
There is a vaccine to prevent, and medication to treat, certain strains of the flu. Flu treatment reduces how long you experience flu symptoms.
Flu symptoms often include:
- Acting confused
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