Antibiotics will not help in case of cold or flu as they are caused by viruses. There are still many people take antibiotics for cold!. It is very important to know when to use antibiotics because as people continue to take antibiotics unnecessarily, the antibiotics become less and less effective to the point they might not work when you need antibiotics to treat bacterial infections. This is because of ( antibiotic-resistance). In addition to so many side effects of this unnecessary use of antibiotics such as ( yeast infection, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and antibiotic-resistant infections with superbugs such as Staph infection or MRSA and Clostridium difficile or C diff. infection).
Yes, you might get a bacterial infection following a cold, and this could be evidenced by coughing up green or yellow sputum, pressure in the face around the eyes or forehead which gets worse when bending forward suggestive of sinusitis. Improper use of antibiotics will lead to the formation of ( superbugs)which are resistant to antibiotics such as MRSA( Methicillin-Resistant Staph Aureus). It is estimated that 2 million Americans have Antibiotic-Resistance.
How would you deal with cold then?, Drink lots of fluids such as water, soups, get plenty of rest, take natural remedies such as ginger tea, lemon, honey, black seed, fumes of menthol-like Vicks which can help breathing, Vitamin C, probiotics, Berries which contain polyphenols which have antiviral activity. Avoid using decongestants like Sudafed which will elevate blood pressure. irrigate your nose regularly, blow your nose gently by pressing a finger over one nostril while you blow the other to decrease the viral load. Gargling with salt water will moisten the throat and alleviate sore throat, honey and apple cider vinegar could be used to soothe the soreness of the throat.
Teaching children and adults about cough etiquette would also be very helpful to prevent or limit droplet infection. A great natural immune system stabilizer is Black Seed (the Blessed Seed) which has been around for thousands of years!
Another effective way of Preventing flu is by taking a flu-shot before Flu hits and not during the illness but rather wait after complete recovery to avoid complications. Stay warm, elevate the head of the bed, avoid flying unless necessary as it can damage the eardrum. There is an average of over 200,000 Americans who are hospitalized every year due to flu-related illness. Getting a flu shot is important for high-risk patients such as adults over 65 years of age, pregnant women, healthcare workers, patients with diabetes, asthma or have compromised immune systems due to immunosuppressive therapy such as steroids.
Most people feel better after 3-7 days, but that could be longer if complications develop such as pneumonia. The most common flu symptoms are fever, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, headaches, congestion. If you develop flu-like symptoms, it is better to stay at home, rest, and stay well hydrated, wash hands frequently to avoid the spread of infection. and use a hand sanitizer if hand washing is not available
You should consider seeing your doctor if you develop breathing difficulty, sore muscles, pain in the muscles enough to prevent walking, high fever, develop seizure, diminished urinary output or symptoms worsen after initial improvement.
Wearing masks may help block the spread of flu virus which travels through the air in droplets. If you are elderly or have a compromised immune system, consider wearing a mask in crowded areas and you have to make sure you have a tight fit around the mouth and nose and you can find out if you did a good job when your glasses do not get foggy! There is no role for steroid use as it would further compromise the immune system, but a short course during the episodes of asthma exacerbations with wheezing is reasonable. Avoid handshaking or getting too close to someone who has productive coughing with frequent nasal discharge. It is important to know if the preventative measures are followed, Flu /cold can be contained and successfully managed.
Recently, the spread of coronavirus from Wuhan, China has triggered global health concerns as cases did not only spread in China but to other countries such as Canada, Germany, Japan, Vietnam and United States. Cases suspected for Coronavirus had prior work up such as chest x-ray which could be negative in most early cases, PCR - Assays to look for Viruses A and B, a simple throat swab testing positive for ( 2019-nCoV) is diagnostic for this novel Coronavirus which was recently started to spread at fast rates.
Please, do not panic but stay vigilant and take appropriate precautions as previously mentioned especially frequent hand washing, stay updated with travel advisory and always seek medical help with the onset of symptoms early. I pray everyone stays well here at home and around the World during the flu season and beyond! Amen.
Dr Adel Eldin, MD, FACC, FACP, MBA, GGA, a Board Certified Cardiologist is Founder, CEO, of Affordable Quality Healthcare Program found at www.prontocare.co and Florida Medical Tourism at www.floridamedicaltourism.com. Call 877-DR ELDIN