Statistics, causes, symptoms, and current treatments around the cold and flu.

Woman sips tea while fighting off a cold.

By Josephine A.

Let us explore the current cold and flu statistics, causes, symptoms, and treatments in order to get a better understanding of this viral labyrinth we are all somewhat familiar with.

There are various environmental or biological factors that can lead to the development of cold and flu. Cold and flu viruses are highly contagious and adaptive, which explains why according to the Center for Disease and Control (CDC), 8 percent of the U.S. population, on average, gets sick from the flu each season. Both viruses are spread through droplets of fluid transferred by touch or inhaled. People caring the virus may be asymptomatic or symptomatic, and children or people with weakened immune systems may be contagious for longer than 7 days. The contagion is spread from person to person, and the associated cause is a weakened immune system. A weakened immune system can be due to environmental factors or biological ones. As in many illnesses, there is not only a health component, but also a wellness one. Seasonal change, dietary indiscretions, stress, or a traumatic occurrence in life can all be precipitating causes. Therefore, when looking to treatment or prevention, it is essential to be open to holistic approaches.

Common cold and flu symptoms can last up to two weeks, and sometimes longer in people with chronic medical conditions whose symptoms may cause further issues with their health. Common cold and flu symptoms include a fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, muscle or body aches, fatigue, headaches, and other cold related symptoms. Although very similar in their symptoms, having the flu is different than a cold in that the illness comes on more suddenly, like you are being hit by a ton of bricks all at once. Catching a cold or flu can lead to further complications beyond the common symptoms just listed. A cold virus can open the way for other illnesses to breach the body, such as ear or sinus infections and acute bronchitis. People with existing chronic conditions such as diabetes or asthma are more at risk of experiencing further complications. Individuals with asthma may experience a post-infectious cough lasting weeks or months after a cold goes away.

Although over the counter (OTC) medications are common sources of alleviation for cold and flu symptoms, too often patients are told that they have a virus and there is nothing they can do for it. Because cold and flu are viral infections, they cannot be treated with antibiotics. Also according to the American Lung Association, studies have shown that OTC medications may worsen asthma and/or peptic ulcers. In addition, some people with high blood pressure or thyroid disease are advised to not take decongestants, which is in many OTC cold remedies.

Homeopathic remedies are an alternative route to mitigating cold and flu symptoms, as well as addressing prevention of illness onset in the first place. Forces of Nature’s Cold & Flu Maximum Strength ImmuneDrops is one of the only USDA Certified Organic over the counter sublingual immunotherapy drops. Immunotherapy implies the stimulation of the body’s immune system and innate healing abilities. Therefore, by addressing the body’s immune system, this remedy helps to prevent cold and flu symptoms by maintaining a healthy immune system from the start. In addition, if taking this remedy while experiencing symptoms, it will help with speeding up the recovery by strengthening the body’s immune system to fight off the virus.

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