The change in the weather from summer to monsoon, may cause many people to be feeling under the weather. However, it may be important to know whether you are down with just a cold or have the flu? Here are some ways to identify, whether you need to go to the doctor or need a few days of rest.

What are your symptoms telling you?

Cold or Flu

Due to the similarity of the conditions it may be difficult to differentiate between the symptoms. Use the symptom chart above to identify, which of the two you have. Some patients may also have diarrhoea or vomitting, if they have contracted the flu. Influenza is the virus that causes the flu and new strains of the virus develop every year therefore, it is not possible to protect yourself from the disease forever.

Influenza Diagnostic Test

If you do have the symptoms listed above, you can correctly identify the disease through a rapid influenza diagnostic test (RIDTs). The test takes a sample of your cells, by swabbing the back of your throat or your nose. It is not necessary to take a blood sample for the RIDT. Besides the RIDT, there are several other accurate and sensitive flu tests for more detailed testing.

Who is more likely to be hospitalised by Influenza?

Every year, an influenza attack affects 5-10% of adults and 20-30% of children, worldwide. Severe illness can result in hospitalisation and even death among high-risk individuals. According to the WHO Statistics, there are 3-5 million cases of severe influenza, from which there are 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. High-risk individuals include pregnant women, older adults, women, elderly, people with low-immunity, patients’ with chronic diseases and people living with asthma or other lung diseases.

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