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Medical Myth Demythify – (FLU)

This light column specifically targets the myths that are commonly told by folks which may result in misinformation and late treatments. 

Q: Cold weather will give me cold/ flu?

A: Remember when you were a kid, your mom would always say “the weather is cold now. Put on warm clothing or you will catch a cold!” This saying is actually False!

So yes, cold weather DOES make you sneeze due to physical stimulation, but sneezing DOES NOT equates to having a cold. You have a cold when you have, apart from sneezes, other symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, cough or mild headaches. It is usually spread via droplets by an infected person to a healthy person, hence making it an airborne disease.

Cold virus thrives in low humidity, therefore when a person sneezes, the cold virus can easily spread to another person. And by that logic, most of the old folks directly equate catching a cold with cold weather.

Q: Is Cold and flu is the same thing?

A:  A cold is not a flu. A flu virus causes more severe symptoms such as dry cough, severe muscle ache and fatigue, high fever and even nausea and vomiting.

Q: Do I need Antibiotics if I have green phlegm?

A: The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, did not show that green or yellow phlegm warrants an antibiotic prescription every time. Green sputum had bacteria in it 59 out of every 100 times, and yellow sputum had bacteria in it 46 out of every 100 times.

Antibiotics can only fight infections caused by bacteria.But as flu is caused by virus, hence it will do more harm than good as taking antibiotics when it does not serve its purpose will increase the risk of getting an infection later that may resist antibiotic treatment.

Q: There is not a need to send my child with flu to see the doctor.

A: Flu is a common disease, especially during flu season. However, there are certain signs and symptoms which one should be more aware such as fever higher than 37.8 ºC, sore throats that last more than 2 days, signs of dehydration or difficulty in breathing. Such symptoms will warrant a more delicate approach and will require immediate medical attention before the situation turns dire.

Alternatively, you can get your Flu shots (Vaccine) in the nearest GP near you! (Available in Platinum Medical Centre)

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