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Author: admin | 01.05.2014 | Category: Tinnitus Causes And Treatments

The common cold (medically known as infectious nasopharyngitis) is the most common upper respiratory tract infection. Within hours, full-blown cold symptoms usually develop, which can include sneezing, mild sore throat, fever, minor headaches, muscle aches, and coughing.
The adenovirus family causes upper respiratory infections (it is one of the many viruses that cause the common cold). Children may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and ear infections, as well as other flu symptoms.
The symptoms usually resolve in 4 - 5 days, although some people can experience coughing and feelings of illness for more than 2 weeks.
In April 2009, an outbreak of swine influenza began in Mexico and spread to the United States and other countries. If you need treatment for H1N1 flu, the CDC recommends that your doctor give you zanamivir (Relenza) or osteltamivir (Tamiflu). To prevent infection with H1N1 flu, people living in the same house as someone diagnosed with the virus should ask their doctor if they also need a prescription for these medicines. Although the risk of lethal viruses is generally low, scientists are greatly concerned about a particular virus called H5N1, which causes avian influenza.
Several available tests can isolate and identify the viruses responsible for some respiratory infections.
A nasopharyngeal culture is a test used to identify disease-causing organisms in nasal secretions. Several rapid tests for the flu can produce results in less than 30 minutes, but vary on the specific strain or strains that they can detect. Symptoms that appear only during allergy season are called allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay or rose fever. Allergens in the house, such as house dust mites, molds, and pet dander, can cause year-long allergic rhinitis, referred to as perennial rhinitis.
Children with sinusitis are less likely to have facial pain and headache and may only develop a high fever or prolonged upper respiratory symptoms (such as a daytime cough that does not improve for 11 - 14 days). Nearly half of pertussis cases now occur in people 10 years of age or older, perhaps due to waning immunity in adolescents and adults. In April 2005, the FDA approved the first pertussis-containing booster vaccine ("Boostrix") for children aged 10 - 18. Group A Streptococcal bacteria is the most common bacterial cause of the severe sore throat known commonly as "strep throat." It occurs mostly in school age children, but people of all ages are susceptible. The doctor will look for redness and pus-filled patches on the tonsils and back of the throat. A throat culture is the most effective and least expensive test for confirming the presence of strep throat. Parents should be comforted that a delay in antibiotic treatment while waiting for lab results does not increase the risk that the child will develop serious long-term complications, including acute rheumatic fever.
Children who have a sore throat and who have had rheumatic fever in the past should receive antibiotics immediately, even before culture results are back.
Drinking plenty of fluids and getting lots of rest when needed is still the best bit of advice to ease the discomforts of the common cold. Despite a few studies that suggest that large doses of vitamin C may reduce the duration of a cold, most of the scientific evidence finds no benefit. High doses of vitamin C may cause headaches, intestinal and urinary problems, and even kidney stones.
Because vitamin C increases iron absorption, people with certain blood disorders, such as hemochromatosis, thalassemia, or sideroblastic anemia, should avoid high doses of this vitamin. Large doses of vitamin C can also interfere with anticoagulant medications ("blood thinners"), blood tests used in diabetes, and stool tests. In addition, a review of evidence suggests that taking large doses of vitamin C after the onset of cold symptoms does not improve the symptoms or shortens the duration of the cold. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (usually Advil or Motrin) are the typical pain-relievers parents give their children.
Nasal strips (such as Breathe Right) are placed across the lower part of the nose and pull the nostrils open. Some physicians, however, advocate a traditional nasal wash that has been used for centuries and is different from that used in most studies. Pour some solution into the palm of the hand and inhale it through the nose, one nostril at a time.
The solution may also be inserted into the nose using a large rubber ear syringe, available at a pharmacy.
Nasal-delivery decongestants are applied directly into the nasal passages with a spray, gel, drops, or vapors. With prolonged use (more than 3 - 5 days), nasal decongestants lose effectiveness and even cause swelling in the nasal passages.
Use decongestants only for conditions requiring short-term use, such as before air travel or for a single-allergy attack.
Discard sprayers, inhalators, or other decongestant delivery devices when the medication is no longer needed.
Anyone with the above conditions should not use either oral or nasal decongestants without a doctor's guidance. In October 2007, drug manufacturers voluntarily withdrew from the market all oral cough and cold products, including decongestants, aimed at children under 2, due to potential harm from misuse.
Under no circumstances should children be given adult medicines, including over-the-counter medications. Major studies have indicated that over-the-counter cough medicines are not very effective, but they are also not harmful. For thick phlegm, patients may try cough medications that contain guaifenesin (Robitussin, Scot-Tussin Expectorant), which loosens mucus. For patients with a dry cough, a suppressant may be useful, such as one that contains dextromethorphan (Drixoral Cough, Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough Suppressant).
Medications that contain both a cough suppressant and an expectorant are not useful and should be avoided. Cough drops, throat sprays, or gargling warm salt water may help relieve sore throat and reduce coughing.
Throat sprays that contain phenol (for example, Vicks Chloraseptic) may be particularly helpful.
Cough drops that contain menthol and mild anesthetics, such as benzocaine, hexylresorcinol, phenol, and dyclonine (the most potent), may soothe a mild sore throat. People with sore throats from postnasal drip might try taking a teaspoon of liquid antacid. If soreness in the throat is very severe and does not respond to mild treatments, the patient or parent should check with the physician to see if a strep throat is present, which would require antibiotics. Dozens of remedies are available that combine ingredients aimed at more than one cold or flu symptom. In some cases, the ingredients conflict (such as a cough expectorant and a cough suppressant). In other cases, a patient may wish to increase the dosage to improve one symptom, which serves to increase other ingredients that do no good and, in higher doses, may cause side effects. Chinese herbal cold and allergy products can contain trace amounts of aristolochic acid, a chemical that causes kidney damage and cancer. The very young and the very old are at higher risk for upper respiratory tract infections and their associated complications.
Before the immune system matures, all infants are susceptible to upper respiratory infections, with a possible frequency of one cold every 1 - 2 months. The risk of respiratory infections is increased by exposure to cigarette smoke, which can injure airways and damage the cilia (tiny hair-like structures that help keep the airways clear).
People with AIDS and other medical conditions that damage the immune system are extremely susceptible to serious infections. In people who already have colds, exercise has no effect on the illness' severity or duration of the infection. Traveling in close contact with people, whether on trains, planes, or buses, can increase the risk for respiratory infections. Two classes of antiviral agents have been developed to treat influenza: neuraminidase inhibitors and M2 inhibitors. The main benefit of these drugs is a reduction in the the length of symptoms by about one day, and only when started within 48 hours after symptoms become evident. Both offer some protection against influenza A and prevent severe illness if a person contracts the infection.
They may shorten the duration and lessen the severity of the flu if given within 48 hours of onset of symptoms. Neither drug has proven to reduce the risk for complications of the flu, including pneumonia and bronchitis. Note: Amantadine is a standard treatment for Parkinson's disease and should be continued for that condition. Unfortunately, the antigens in these influenza viruses undergo genetic changes (called antigenic drift) over time, so they are likely to become resistant to a vaccine that worked in the previous year. Antibodies to the influenza virus usually develop within 2 weeks of vaccination, and immunity peaks within 4 - 6 weeks, then gradually wanes. Because children under age 9 do not develop strong immune responses to one vaccine dose, the CDC recommends two vaccinations given 1 month apart on the first year they receive the vaccine. It should be noted that if an individual develops influenza symptoms and is accurately diagnosed in time, vaccination of the other members of the household within 36 - 48 hours affords effective protection to those individuals.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the CDC recommend influenza vaccination in all healthy children between ages 6 months and 18 years old. In addition, any child over the age of 2 years with a condition that requires regular medical care or who has been hospitalized for a serious illness (particularly lung or kidney disease, diabetes, sickle-cell, or immune deficiencies).
Children who come in direct contact with a person vulnerable to complications from influenza should also be vaccinated. Children who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy should also be immunized against the flu because they are at higher risk for Reye syndrome, a life-threatening disease, if they get the flu.
Household members in contact with individuals who are at high risk for complications from the flu should be vaccinated. People at risk for complications of the flu who are traveling to the tropics at any time or to the Southern Hemisphere between April and September. Pregnant women who are at risk for complications of the flu and who will be in their second or third trimester during flu season.
There has been some question concerning influenza vaccinations because of reports that these vaccines may worsen asthma.
The intense and widespread use of antibiotics is leading to a serious global problem of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics do not affect viruses and, in healthy individuals, these drugs are almost never necessary or helpful for influenza or colds, even with persistent cough and thick, green mucus.
Patients, particularly small children or elderly people, who have medical conditions that put them at high risk for complications from any respiratory tract infections, may sometimes be given antibiotics. Patients with severe sinusitis that does not clear up within 7 days (some experts say 10 days) and whose symptoms include one or more of the following: green and thick nasal discharge, facial pain, or tooth pain or tenderness. Patients with strep throat or severe sore throat that involves fever, swollen lymph nodes, and absence of cough. Children at higher risk for antibiotic resistance are those who attend day care, who are exposed to cigarette smoke, who were bottle-fed, and who had siblings with recurrent ear infections. Use home or over-the-counter remedies to relieve symptoms of mild upper respiratory tract infections. If a child needs an antibiotic, ask the doctor whether it is appropriate to use high-dose short-term antibiotics, which may lower the risk for developing resistant strains.
If an antibiotic is prescribed, take the full course, even if you feel better before finishing it.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
BackgroundUpper respiratory tract infections affect the airways in the nose, ears, and throat.
In most cases, these infections lead to colds or mild influenza (flu) and are temporary and harmless. A runny nose usually lasts 2 - 7 days, although coughing and nasal discharge can persist for more than 2 weeks. Influenza epidemics are most serious when they involve a new strain, against which most people around the world are not immune.

Most Type A influenza strains (the most common strains) first develop in migratory waterfowl populations. The flu virus is spread primarily when a person with the flu coughs or sneezes near someone else. A virus is a cluster of genes wrapped in a protein membrane, which is coated with a fatty substance that contains molecules called glycoproteins.
It is less common than type A, but is often associated with specific outbreaks, such as in nursing homes.
Doctors, however, can prescribe antiviral drugs to treat people who become very sick with the flu or are at high risk for flu complications. Careful respiratory hygiene and frequent hand-washing are also recommended steps for reducing the risk of getting H1N1 flu. Since 1997, the H5N1 virus has triggered deadly outbreaks in poultry across Southeast Asia. Nasopharyngeal cultures are useful in identifying Bordetella pertussis and Neisseria meningitidis (types of bacteria). They are not as accurate as a viral culture, however, in which the virus is reproduced in the laboratory.
Food and Drug Administration approved a new, faster test for diagnosing H5 strains of avian influenza in people suspected of having the virus.
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include nasal obstruction and congestion, which are similar to the symptoms of a cold. When the diagnosis is unclear or complications are suspected, further tests may be required.
Pneumonia caused by atypical organisms (for example, Mycoplasma pneumonia, chlamydia, Legionella) can cause symptoms similar to the flu. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and, possibly human parainfluenza viruses (HPV), are proving to be important causes of serious respiratory infections in infants, the elderly, and people with damaged immune systems. Pertussis (whooping cough) was a very common childhood illness throughout the first half of the century.
A faster test, called the rapid strep antigen test, uses chemicals to detect the presence of bacteria in a few minutes.
The use of antibiotics has removed the threat of most complications from streptococcus infection in the throat.
Erythromycin is known as a macrolide antibiotic and is the first choice for patients with penicillin allergies. Studies indicate that fewer than half of adults and far fewer of the children with even strong signs and symptoms for strep throat actually have strep infections. If a patient is severely ill, however, it is reasonable to begin administering antibiotics before the results are back. In fact, one study suggests that common liquid dish washing soaps are up to 100 times more effective than antibacterial soaps in killing respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is known to cause pneumonia. The hot steam from the soup may be its chief advantage, although laboratory studies have actually reported that ingredients in the soup may have anti-inflammatory effects.
They include oranges, kiwi, and tomatoes for vitamin C, and sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli for vitamin A. Reye syndrome, a very serious condition that can be life-threatening, has been associated with aspirin use in children who have flu symptoms or chicken pox. These strips may open the nasal passages and ease congestion due to a cold, sinusitis, or hay fever. The major hazard with nasal-delivery decongestants, particularly long-acting forms, is a cycle of dependency and rebound effects. The congestion worsens, and the patient responds with even more frequent doses, in some cases as often as every hour. The most common active ingredient are pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Actifed, Drixoral) or phenylephrine (Sudafed PE and many other cold products) . People who may be at higher risk for complications are those with certain medical conditions, including disorders that make blood vessels highly susceptible to contraction. In addition, people taking medications that increase serotonin levels, such as certain antidepressants, anti-migraine agents, diet pills, St. Decongestants should not be used at all in infants and small children under the age of 4, according to new recommendations. In late 2008, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which represents most of the US makers of nonprescription over-the-counter cough and cold medicines in children, began voluntarily modifying its products' labels to read "Do Not Use in Children Under 4." This action is supported by the FDA. They shouldn't drink anything afterward, since the intention is to coat the throat and help neutralize the acid in the mucus that might be causing pain. This means that manufacturers and distributors do not need FDA approval to sell their products. Many herbal remedies imported from Asia may contain potent pharmaceuticals, such as phenacetin and steroids, as well as toxic metals. The rhinovirus infection, a major cause of colds, also commonly predisposes children to ear infections, possibly by obstructing the Eustachian tube, which leads to the middle ear. Between 0.5 - 3% of people with colds develop sinusitis, an infection in the sinus cavities (air-filled spaces in the skull).
The common cold poses a risk for bronchitis and pneumonia in nursing home patients, and in other people who may be vulnerable to infection.
However, each year in the United States, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized due to complications of the flu.
Influenza increases the risk for complications in the central nervous system of small children.
Smaller nasal and sinus passages also make younger children more vulnerable to colds than older children and adults. The elderly have diminished cough and gag reflexes, and their immune systems are often weaker. Patients who are on corticosteroid (steroid) treatments, chemotherapy, or other medications that suppress the immune system are also prone to infection. They include sickle-cell disease, cystic fibrosis, and Kartagener syndrome (which results in malfunctioning cilia). Stress appears to increase the risk for a cold regardless of lifestyle or other health habits.
Some experts believe that stress alters specific immune factors, which cause inflammation in the airways. Some highly trained athletes, for instance, report being susceptible to colds after strenuous events. Certainly, flus and colds are more likely to be transmitted in winter because people spend more time indoors and are exposed to higher concentrations of airborne viruses.
These drugs can shorten symptoms but there is no indication that they can prevent or reduce infections. The CDC therefore recommends that when influenza A (H1N1) infection is suspected, treatment includes zanamivir or a combination of oseltamivir and rimantadine, rather than oseltamivir alone. Although they have many advantages compared to the M2 inhibitors, neuraminidase inhibitors are much more expensive.
People with asthma or other lung disorders may experience airway spasms and should use this drug with caution. Side effects are also minor, but about 10 - 15% of patients experience nausea and vomiting. Studies report significant reduction in symptoms and in the incidence of ear infections in this population. Recent studies indicate neuraminidase inhibitors are safe and effective in patients with serious medical problems or other conditions that put them at risk for complications of flu. Both M2 inhibitors occasionally cause nausea, vomiting, indigestion, insomnia, and hallucinations. The influenza A virus is further categorized by primary molecular antigens (hemagglutinin and neuraminidase), which serve as the targets for the vaccines.
Although influenza B has been far less common than A, a vaccine for type B is important because experts are concerned that small children will not have developed any immunity to the virus, and will experience severe flu if they are exposed to type B viruses. A live but weakened intranasal vaccine (FluMist) is proving to be effective and safe in healthy, non-pregnant people aged 2 - 49 years and has been approved by the FDA. If children under 9 received only 1 dose of the vaccine on their first immunization year, they should receive 2 doses the following year.
The current flu vaccines may be slightly less effective in certain patients, such as the elderly and those with certain chronic diseases. If parents are concerned about vaccines that contain the mercury preservative thimerosal, they can ask their doctor about reduced-thimerosal flu vaccine. The following, in order of priority, are the population groups who should be vaccinated each year. Such people include those with heart disease, lung problems, immune deficiencies, diabetes, kidney disease, or chronic blood disease. Newer vaccines contain very little egg protein, but an allergic reaction still may occur in people with strong allergies to eggs. Up to two thirds of people who receive the influenza vaccine develop mild redness or soreness at the injection site for 1 - 2 days afterward.
Some people actually experience flu-like symptoms, called oculo-respiratory syndrome, which include cough, wheezing, tightness in the chest, sore throat, or a combination. Although isolated cases of a paralytic illness known as Guillain-Barre syndrome occurred in about one of every 100,000 people vaccinated with the swine-flu vaccine in 1976, it has not been a problem with subsequent vaccines. Recent and major studies have been reporting, however, that the vaccination is safe for children with asthma. The vaccine, which is made from a human strain of the virus, could be used in people ages 18 - 64 to prevent the spread of the virus from human to human.
The inappropriate use of powerful newer antibiotics for conditions such as colds or sore throats poses a particular risk for resistant strains of bacteria. In one disturbing study, antibiotics were prescribed for nearly half of children who went to the doctor for a common cold. Some experts recommend that only children under the age of 2 years should be treated with antibiotics, and children over 2 should be treated on a case-by-case basis. Some patients are at greater risk for developing an infection resistant to common antibiotics.
Prescribing antibiotics only when necessary is the most important step in restoring bacterial strains that are susceptible to antibiotics.
It is important for patients and parents to understand that although antibiotics may bring a sense of security, they provide no significant benefit for a person with viral infection, and overuse can contribute to the growing problem of resistant bacteria. 2007-08 Influenza Prevention & Control Recommendations: Vaccination of Specific Populations. Acute Respiratory Disease Associated with Adenovirus Serotype 14 -- Four States, 2006-2007. Prevention and Control of Influenza: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
Evaluation of echinacea for the prevention and treatment of the common cold: a meta-analysis.
Food and Drug Administration: Nonprescription Drugs and Pediatric Advisory Committee Meeting. Monitoring of neuraminidase inhibitor resistance among clinical influenza virus isolates in Japan during the 2003-2006 influenza seasons.
A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.
Such global epidemics (pandemics) can rapidly infect more than one fourth of the world's population. While most avian influenza (bird flu) virus strains are relatively harmless, a few develop into "highly pathogenic avian influenza," which can be very deadly for domesticated poultry and livestock.
Adults with flu typically spread it to someone else from 1 day before symptoms start to about 5 days after symptoms develop. Strains of the flu are identified according to the number of membranes and type of glycoproteins present. It is usually further categorized by two subtypes based on two substances that occur on the surface of the viruses: hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N).
There is some concern, however, that since influenza B has been less common in the past few years, some people, particularly small children, may have fewer antibodies to it and so may be at higher risk for severe infection. However, scientists and public health officials are monitoring the spread of H5N1 and working to contain it. The cough it causes typically lasts for about 7 - 10 days, but in about half of patients, coughing can last for up to 3 weeks, and 25% of patients continue to cough for over 1 month.

A positive result nearly always means that streptococcal bacteria are the cause of the infection. Antibiotics prevent a serious complication called rheumatic fever, which can result in permanent damage to the heart. Amoxicillin, a form of penicillin, is proving to be effective when taken in a single daily dose for 10 days. If the culture is negative (there is no evidence of bacteria), the doctor should call the family to make certain the patient stops taking the antibiotics and any remaining pills are discarded. PreventionBecause colds and flus are easily spread, everyone should always wash their hands before eating and after going outside. Wiping surfaces with a solution that contains one part bleach to 10 parts water is very effective in killing viruses. Some suggest alternating the two agents, although there is no evidence that this regimen offers any benefits, and it might be harmful. One study reported that neither a homemade solution (using one teaspoon of salt and one pinch of baking soda in a pint of warm water) nor a commercial hypertonic saline nasal wash had any effect on symptoms. With prolonged use, nasal decongestants become ineffective and result in the so-called rebound effect and dependence. Young children are at particular risk for side effects that depress the central nervous system. In one study, patients with sore throat who used the spray experienced faster resolution of the cold itself, including fever, headache, and other symptoms compared to a placebo. Antihistamines are used for allergies and are not generally recommended to relieve the symptoms of the common cold. In addition, any substance that affects the body's chemistry can, like any drug, produce side effects that may be harmful.
In about 1% of cases, a cold can lead to other complications, such as sinus or ear infections. Sinusitis is usually mild, but if it becomes severe, antibiotics generally eliminate further problems. Some experts believe that the rhinovirus may play a more significant role than the flu in causing lower respiratory infections in the vulnerable population.
In fact, rhinovirus has been reported to be the most common infectious organism associated with asthma attacks. Upper respiratory infections gradually diminish as children grow, until at school age their rate of such infections is about the same as an adult's.
They are therefore at greater risk for serious respiratory infections than the young and middle-aged adults. People should avoid strenuous physical activity when they have high fevers or widespread viral illnesses. The colds they catch in day care, then, may bestow some immunity to future colds for a few years. They are newer agents that have been designed to block a key viral enzyme, neuraminidase, which is involved with viral replication. Experience is very limited, however, and it is not clear whether people infected with avian flu received the drug in time for it to be useful. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following: Therapy should be provided to children with influenza infection who are at high risk of severe infection, and to children with moderate-to-severe influenza infection who may benefit from a decrease in the duration of symptoms. Amantadine affects the nervous system and about 10% of people experience nervousness, depression, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and lightheadedness. Influenza A is a particular problem, because it can infect other species, such as pigs or chicken, and undergo major genetic changes. Children under 9 who have received single doses for 3 or more years should continue to receive single doses. Even in people with a weaker response, however, the vaccine is usually protective against serious flu complications, particularly pneumonia. Evidence now suggests that vaccination may help protect against adverse heart events (including those following heart surgeries), stroke, and death from all causes in the elderly.
Those with any condition that may compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions, including people with cognitive dysfunction, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other neuromuscular disorders, are included in this group.
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) suggests that all adults over age 50 should be vaccinated. Such symptoms tend to occur 2 - 24 hours after the vaccination and generally last up to 2 days. It is also very important for these patients to reduce their risk for respiratory diseases. For example, the number of cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is increasing in people who have no known risk factors. Encouraging studies are reporting that inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions are on the decline. Joint Meeting of the Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee and the Pediatric Advisory Committee October 18-19, 2007.
For example, the Spanish flu in 1918 and 1919 killed an estimated 20 million people in the U.S.
Children can spread the infection for more than 10 days after symptoms begin, and young children can transmit the virus 6 days or even earlier before the onset of symptoms. Symptoms in humans are similar to classic flu-like symptoms, which might include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chills, fatigue, dizziness, lack of energy, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Efforts include slaughtering infected birds, developing new vaccines, and stockpiling antiviral drugs such as oseltamivir (Tamiflu).
If a doctor believes a diagnosis would help, samples using a swab should be taken from the nasal passages or throat within 4 days of the first symptoms. It may go undiagnosed, however, because their symptoms are usually mild, and adults are unlikely to have the classic "whooping" cough. When the sore throat persists and is very painful the doctor will want to rule out or confirm the presence of the Streptococcus bacteria. The test, however, fails to detect 5 - 10% of cases, so a culture may still be necessary to catch any missed infections, particularly in children. Another macrolide, azithromycin, can be given as a single daily dose and may be effective in 5 days.
Further, one preliminary study found that over-the-counter saline nasal sprays that contain benzalkonium chloride as a preservative may actually worsen symptoms and infection. The combinations can cause blood vessels in the brain to narrow suddenly, causing severe headaches and even stroke. Therefore, there may be a transition period in which the instructions for use on different bottles of the same medicine may be different -- some may read "Do not Use" under age 2, while others will have the new recommendation of age 4. The newer, second-generation antihistamines (Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec) do not have these effects and also appear to have no benefits against colds. There have been numerous reported cases of serious and even deadly side effects from herbal products.
It can also aggravate asthma and, in uncommon situations, increase the risk for lower respiratory tract infections.
Colds may promote allergic inflammation of the airways, and increase the intensity of their responsiveness for weeks. People at highest risk for serious complications are those over 65 years old and those with chronic medical conditions. There is almost never cause for concern when a child has frequent colds, unless the colds become unusually severe or more frequent than usual. Some experts theorize that the high rates of viral infections in winter may be due to certain immune factors, which react to light and dark and affect a person's susceptibility to viruses. Because of emerging drug resistance, some experts suggest these drugs be reserved for severely ill patients or those at high risk. Neither neuraminidase inhibitor is effective against influenza-like illness (one that is not caused by an influenza virus). It is important to make sure that elderly patients are able to properly use the zanamivir inhaler device.
Prophylaxis should be provided (1) to high-risk children who have not yet received immunization and during the 2 weeks after immunization, (2) to unimmunized family members and health care professionals with close contact with high-risk unimmunized children or infants who are younger than 6 months, and (3) for control of influenza outbreaks in unimmunized staff and children in an institutional setting. The vaccine is engineered to grow only in the cooler temperatures of the nasal passages, not in the warmer lungs and lower airways.
In fact, among the elderly, interesting studies are now suggesting that influenza vaccination may help protect against stroke, adverse heart events, and death from all causes. Still, studies suggest that only two-thirds of people in this group are vaccinated, mostly because of unwarranted fears of ineffectiveness or adverse effects. These symptoms are not influenza itself but an immune response to the virus proteins in the vaccine.
Prescriptions for other common respiratory infections, such as otitis media, sore throat, acute bronchitis, and colds and flus have been decreasing. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. People can become infected by these bird flu strains through contact with contaminated chickens and pigs.
People with severely compromised immune systems can transmit the virus for weeks or months. Many poor nations have limited resources and already contend with other serious health problems, including HIV-AIDS. If started on time, antibiotic treatment of strep throat will almost always prevent this complication. It is expensive, however, and bacterial resistance to macrolides is growing, so it should not be given as a first choice.
Waterless hand cleaners that contain an alcohol-based gel are also effective for everyday use and may even kill cold viruses. A review of available studies comparing zinc treatment to placebo ("sugar pill") found only one high-quality study, which showed that zinc nasal gels might provide a benefit.
Studies have also shown that these cough and cold products generally are not effective in the treatment of children under 6 years of age.
There have been a few reports of people experiencing a skin reaction to this herb called erythema nodosum, which is characterized by tender, red nodules under the skin. Rarely, amantadine can cause seizures, usually in elderly people already at risk for psychiatric symptoms. It boosts the specific immune factors in the mucous membranes of the nose that fight off the actual viral infections. With modern society's dependence on air travel, an influenza pandemic could potentially inflict catastrophic damage on human lives, and disrupt the global economy. The medical community is now greatly concerned about the H5N1 bird flu virus, which has infected and even killed people in several countries. If H5N1 does mutate and spread, the consequences could be especially severe for these countries. The younger the patient, the higher the risk for severe complications, including pneumonia, seizures, and even death.
MedicationsVaccines are available to prevent influenza (See Viral Influenza Vaccines section in this report). The vaccine led to the development of antibodies in 45% of those who received the higher dose studied. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. If the presence of this strain is confirmed through the rapid test, further testing will be needed to determine the exact subtype of the virus. Children younger than 6 months are at particular risk because protection is incomplete, even with vaccination.
In any case, no one with an adequate diet and a healthy immune system should take zinc for prolonged periods, for the purpose of preventing colds. The most common side effects reported were pain at the injection site, headache, and muscle pain. For example, the current strain of concern is H5, subtype N1, designated as H5N1 for short.

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