HYDERABAD: Most of us are probably experiencing cold, fever, runny nose, throat ache, headache and other common symptoms, thanks to the advent of winter. We speak with experts to learn if this is a result of a ‘new flu’, and what its symptoms, precautions and care are.
Dr Jagadeesh Kumar V, senior consultant physician, KIMS Hospitals, Secunderabad, says that Covid-19 has made us way too conscious and sacred about every sickness or flu.
He explains, “Every human body has immunity and it reacts to any infection that you are facing, be it viral or bacterial. Among these immune cells, certain cells immediately react to allergens. Immunity has got a threshold which, for example, if you have 50 particles of the virus coming into your body, then your immunity responds and anything less than that is ignorable.
Now Covid-19, this is just an anecdotal experience — We understand that it has brought down the threshold of people’s immunity. For the last 10 years, people have been exposed to a lot of viruses and beat them successfully, but now, as the threshold of your immunity is down, for every little thing, we react with panic and that is where severity grows and your body becomes more sensitive to these viruses.”
Dr G Navodaya of Care Hospitals Banjara Hills talks about the causes of the new flu.
“Prior to Covid, we had many infections around this time and we clubbed them all together under the common flu. Though many virus attacks during the winter because of the cold and dry air, there is no anti-viral targeted treatment for those viruses. Because of Covid-19, and many sub-variants of Covid-19 that have been making an appearance, among others like swine flu and common flu, the symptoms initially might be common for all like headache, runny nose, weakness, body pains, etc., but people who have a good immunity status do get rid of this sickness in two to three days and are back to their healthy self on the fourth day," he said.
"People who have low immunity including diabetics, and transplant patients, are prone to suffer some kind of complications with the infection. Their condition worsens when they do not visit a doctor,” he further added.
He adds that such patients must remember to not venture out long in the cold weather, avoid gatherings, wear masks and maintain hygiene.
“Avoid cold consumption of foods and drinks, and keep your regular health element in control. Those with a runny nose should avoid meeting people, take necessary medication like multivitamins, hot water baths, steam inhalation and feast on fresh vegetables. Any diet that contains high fatty acids, and carbohydrates which lead to the formation of oxidative stress in the body is not good. Only easily digestible food should be consumed.”