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Season of Cold and Flu: Tips for Home Remedies and Non-Prescription Drugs


Photo By TY Lim via Shutterstock

The first flu-related death this season has been confirmed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.According to DHEC, there have been several reports of cases of influenza.A total of 107 influenza cases have been reported with seven people being hospitalized in recent weeks, five cases in Greenville Country, and four in Spartanburg Country.

“When flu season hits, you know it, people come in and all of them have the relatively same symptoms,” explained Shiva Miraj, an emergency MD nurse.

In New Brunswick, Canada, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists have joined forces to convince people that antibiotics won’t help fight the common cold or influenza.Their goal is to avoid unnecessary confrontation of patients with hospital staff expecting antibiotics to be handed out by clinics, doctors, and ER teams.

“Patients have an expectation of needing an antibiotic for their illness and this, in part, is created by the fact they may have had an antibiotic for a previous infection.Which in the future could create problems where if a patient really needs them to survive illness, they won't be effective,” said Dr.Michael Armitage of the New Brunswick Anti-Infective Stewardship Committee.

Antibiotics are not effective to fight off viral infection.Upper respiratory tract infections like the common cold and influenza are usually caused by viruses, and antibiotics do not work against these viruses.In other terms, antibiotics have no real targets in patients afflicted by the cold or flu.Antibiotics only work with a bacterial infection.

Proper Use of Non-Prescription Drugs for Cold and Flu

With the season booming with cold and flu viruses, many people will want to purchase non-prescription medications to prevent or fight off the infection.Consult the pharmacist on what medication you need so you will know if the drug may interact with any of your current health conditions or with any other medications you are taking.Here are the differences between the symptoms of the common cold and influenza.

Decongestants, antihistamines, expectorants, cough suppressant, antipyretics/analgesics, and anesthetic drugs are available to help manage the symptoms of the common cold and influenza.These drugs come in a wide variety of dosage forms to meet the individual needs of many patients.Patients are advised to use caution when using drugs that contain a combination of active ingredients.If using such products, patients should only use the multi-ingredient product to treat specific symptoms.

Foods to Reduce Effects of the Common Cold and Influenza

During the course of the infection, the patient needs to eat some food to maintain energy and strength.Also, medications are usually taken best with some food in the stomach.

- Eat some yogurt, less sweet is possible, to get some probiotics into your body.More probiotics or good bacteria strengthens your immune system to fight off the infection.

- Eggs have zinc and that mineral boosts your immune system.Zinc is known to reduce the symptoms and duration of the common cold.

- The fiber in oatmeal helps your immune system, and if you can add berries, these are rich in antioxidants and can further improve your immune system.

- Hot teas can soothe your sore throat and boost your immune system with the antioxidants they provide.

- Of course, the legendary chicken soup is still one of the best home remedies against cold and flu.Hot soup breaks the nasal and sinus congestions in both the common cold and the flu.The chicken contains the amino acid called cysteine that helps thin mucus in the lungs and boosts the strength of the lungs.


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