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Konuyu Hazırlayan: Dr. Mete Aker & Hem. Yasemin Yazgünoğlu


Is an acute, self-limited viral infection of the upper respiratory tract? After a short incubation period (1 to 4 days) illness generally begins with nasal congestion, sneezing and sore throat, which occurs in almost half of the cases. Other symptoms are malaise, hoarseness, cough, headache and muscle aches. Characteristically, fever is below 38 °C. Symptoms may last up to 10 days.


Is also a viral infection of the respiratory tract? It is a major epidemic disease in humans. Incubation period is normally 2 to 3 days. Classic symptoms include chills, headache, malaise, myalgias, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing and a dry cough. Nausea and vomiting may occur especially in children. Fever is often over 38 C. In most of the cases symptoms rapidly subside after 2 to 3 days.

Is It a Cold or the Flu ?

Syptoms Cold Flu
Fever Rare Characteristic, high (102-104ºF); lasts 3-4 days
Headache Rare Prominent
General Aches, Pains Slight Usual; often severe
Fatigue, Weakness Quite Mild Can last up to 2-3 weeks
Extreme Exhaustion Never Early and prominent
Stuffy Nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Chest Discomfort, Cough Mild to moderate; hacking cough Common; can become severe
Complications Sinus congestion or earache Bronchitis, pneumonia; can be life-threatening
Prevention None Annual vaccination; antiviral medicines-see your doctor
Treatment Only temporary relief of symptoms Antiviral medicines-see your doctor


Is not necessary beyond that for symptom relief. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infections. They are needed when bacterial complications develop. Analgesics and antipyretics, antihistamines help to relieve symptoms (Routine use of aspirin is not recommended.).

  • A warm and comfortable environment is recommended.
  • Rest is indicated for those with fever or severe symptoms.
  • Drinking at least eight glasses of fluid daily can help to loosen mucus and replace the extra fluid loss.
  • Humidifiers increase environmental humidity and help loosen chest congestion.
  • Smoking irritates the throat and makes cough worse.
  • Warm salt-water gargles help relieve mild sore throat.
  • Vitamin C diminishes the duration and severity of illness.


  • Transmission usually occurs by hand contact with a sufferer. Family members should wash their hands frequently.
  • Using disposable tissues, separate drinking glasses and towels, limiting direct contact during the peak of nasal discharge can help prevent the spread of colds.
  • Main way of prevention from flu is the use of influenza virus vaccines. Vaccine does not provide a significant protection unless administrated each year and the new strain is incorporated in to it.
  • Vaccination is recommended for those at risk of complications (Smokers, people over age 65, anemics and who suffer from heart, lung or kidney disease.).
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