Top 8 cold and flu myths

Every­one knows that in order not to get sick, you need to wear a mask, dress warm­ly and eat gar­lic. And if not lucky — lie under the cov­ers. But every­thing is not so clear… Which of the well-known state­ments about the flu is true, and which is a myth?

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1. In order not to get infect­ed, you need to wear a mask.

50/50. Opin­ion regard­ing the effec­tive­ness of masks is ambigu­ous. There are doc­tors who believe that they should only be worn by those who are already ill, so as not to infect oth­ers. It is use­less for healthy peo­ple to do this — virus­es will be able to pen­e­trate through the mask. But there is also an opin­ion that masks still reduce the risk of infec­tion. There­fore, dur­ing epi­demics, it makes sense to wear them. Espe­cial­ly for peo­ple at risk — chil­dren, the elder­ly, preg­nant women and those who have chron­ic dis­eases. But keep in mind: wear­ing a mask on the street is com­plete­ly use­less — cold air inac­ti­vates the virus. Wear it in poor­ly ven­ti­lat­ed areas — trans­port, shops, offices, clin­ics. By the way, the mask is effec­tive only dur­ing the first two hours.

2. At the first signs of the flu, vodka with pepper helps.

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MYTH. Do not under any cir­cum­stances use this tool. As you know, the flu is accom­pa­nied by intox­i­ca­tion of the body. If you add alco­hol tox­ins to this, and even with pep­per, var­i­ous com­pli­ca­tions can devel­op. For exam­ple, prob­lems with the gas­troin­testi­nal tract (exac­er­ba­tion of pep­tic ulcer, gas­tri­tis). The liv­er will also be affect­ed. It is espe­cial­ly dan­ger­ous to com­bine alco­hol with antipyret­ic drugs. In this case, the tox­ic effect increas­es many times, which can lead to liv­er fail­ure.

3. Influenza is contagious, even when symptoms of the disease have not yet appeared.

MYTH. The flu does have an incu­ba­tion (latent) peri­od. It begins from the moment the virus enters the mucous mem­branes and mul­ti­plies. And it ends with the entry of virus­es into the lymph flow. After that, the per­son shows symp­toms of the dis­ease. The incu­ba­tion peri­od lasts about a day. Dur­ing this time, the like­li­hood of catch­ing the virus from a sick per­son is extreme­ly small. The most con­ta­gious peri­od is the height of the dis­ease, espe­cial­ly when a run­ny nose and cough appear.

4. A cold can turn into the flu.

TRUTH. There is such a thing as super­in­fec­tion. For exam­ple, a per­son caught a res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­ease, and then also had con­tact with a sick flu. In this case, one infec­tion can build up on anoth­er. Man­i­fes­ta­tions in this case will be brighter and heav­ier. It is also pos­si­ble for a per­son to become infect­ed with sev­er­al strains of the influen­za virus at the same time. This con­di­tion is called “mixed infec­tion”.

5. At high temperatures, sweat thoroughly.

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MYTH. A per­son begins to sweat him­self at the moment when the tem­per­a­ture drops. To help him with this, you need a plen­ti­ful warm drink and antipyret­ics based on parac­eta­mol and ibupro­fen. It is impos­si­ble to try to warm the patient at the peak of tem­per­a­ture! Yes, it is advis­able to dress him warm­ly, but on con­di­tion that the air in the room is cool (+18–20 °), ven­ti­lat­ed and humid­i­fied. If the patient is also warmed up while the tem­per­a­ture ris­es, this will only increase the risk of com­pli­ca­tions.

6. If you are sick, you can not take a bath.

50/50. Watch­ing what. Warm­ing at a tem­per­a­ture, of course, is impos­si­ble. A hot bath will only aggra­vate the con­di­tion (there is a risk of over­heat­ing). But in some cas­es (in con­sul­ta­tion with the doc­tor) a cool bath is appro­pri­ate. It helps bring down the tem­per­a­ture. For exam­ple, it is rec­om­mend­ed for peo­ple with cer­tain dis­eases of the ner­vous sys­tem (epilep­sy, con­vul­sive syn­drome), when an increase in tem­per­a­ture is fraught with seizures. The bath speeds up the cool­ing while the antipyret­ic is in effect. In oth­er cas­es (if there is no tem­per­a­ture), you can take a show­er.

7. Went out without a hat in the cold — you will definitely catch a cold.

MYTH. Not nec­es­sary. It all depends on the adap­tive capa­bil­i­ties of the body. If a per­son is hard­ened, then his body quick­ly adapts to changes in tem­per­a­ture. There­fore, a walk with­out a hat or in a jack­et that is not too warm will not harm him.
And if a per­son lives in green­house con­di­tions, then even after sit­ting for a short time under the air con­di­tion­er or at an open win­dow, he can catch a cold.

8. Vitamins, onions, garlic and echinacea help protect against SARS.

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50/50. These sub­stances are called nat­ur­al adap­to­gens. They help to adapt to chang­ing envi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions. They are usu­al­ly rec­om­mend­ed to be tak­en dur­ing the off-sea­son. Adap­to­gens can boost the body’s defens­es. But alas, they do not pre­vent 100% SARS infec­tion. In prin­ci­ple, any means of expand­ing adap­ta­tion mech­a­nisms are use­ful for us. They are well known to every­one: good sleep, ratio­nal nutri­tion, hard­en­ing and rea­son­able phys­i­cal activ­i­ty.

Relat­ed Arti­cles

The opin­ion of the edi­tors may not coin­cide with the opin­ion of the author of the arti­cle.

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