How to determine the type of cold

How to determine the type of cold

There are more people with respiratory infections this winter, and the infected are mainly children and young adults, with relatively few elderly people. Similar situations are seen in many countries and regions around the world. In fact, Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection also has an epidemic cycle, and there will be a relatively obvious epidemic peak every 3 to 7 years. In addition, in the past few years, everyone has reduced infections by various respiratory pathogens through measures such as wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and reducing unnecessary gatherings and going out, which has led to a decline in the population’s immune barrier to respiratory pathogens.

In case of being infected, you need to try your best to analyze and evaluate which pathogen you are infected with. So how do you determine which pathogen you are infected with?

One is to judge based on contact history. Try to find out whether the people you come into contact with have fever and respiratory symptoms, and whether anyone has been diagnosed with influenza or Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection. These contact histories are of great significance in determining which pathogen you are infected with. For example, if you develop fever, cough, sore throat and other symptoms after being exposed to an influenza case, you may have been infected with the influenza virus.

The second is to judge based on symptoms. Typical symptoms of influenza are rapid onset, with high fever, cough, sore throat, obvious fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pain and other symptoms. Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection has a relatively slow onset, with typical symptoms of repeated high fever and dry cough when getting up early. Mainly, there may be expectoration in the later stage; while the symptoms of common cold are relatively mild, with no fever or only low-grade fever. Typical symptoms are usually nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and sore throat, which can usually heal on their own in 3 to 5 days.

It is meaningful for patients to know which pathogen they are infected with, especially for influenza. Early diagnosis can provide early antiviral treatment, reduce the risk of severe illness, shorten the course of the disease, and reduce the risk of infection. For people at high risk of severe cases, early antiviral treatment can effectively reduce the risk of severe and critical illness.

If you have a cold or fever, at what point do you need to see a doctor? Common colds generally have mild symptoms and can heal on their own in about 3 to 5 days. Usually, there is no need to go to the hospital. The main thing is to rest at home. Antipyretic and analgesic drugs, antitussive and expectorant drugs, etc. can be used to relieve uncomfortable symptoms. If you still have severe symptoms such as repeated high fever, shortness of breath, suffocation, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, chest pain, poor eating, listlessness, lethargy and other serious conditions for more than 3 days, you need to seek medical treatment in time.

What should you pay attention to when taking care of yourself at home after you have a cold or fever? If symptoms of cold or fever occur, you should take a break in time, try to stay isolated from your family, and try to stay in a room with a separate window. If contact with family members cannot be avoided, both parties should wear masks and try to keep a certain distance to reduce the risk of family transmission. In particular, it is necessary to protect the elderly, children, pregnant women and other people at home with underlying diseases and low immunity to avoid close contact. . Patients themselves should ensure adequate rest, appropriately increase fluid intake, and choose antipyretic, analgesic, cough and phlegm medications according to symptoms. If the condition worsens significantly or shows no improvement for more than 5 days, you need to seek medical attention promptly.

(Author: Li Tongzeng, chief physician of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Beijing You’an Hospital)

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