How to avoid getting a cold

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Are you already coughing and sneezing? You are not the only one: many people are currently having a cold or lying in bed with flu. The last season has started again! Unfortunately, there is still no medicine invented for these ailments. Being sick is actually the only option. Fortunately, there are a lot of remedies available that alleviate the symptoms of flu and colds. So you feel at least a lot less miserable. Moreover, there are a number of things that you can do yourself to minimize the risk of contamination. Prevention is always better than cure.

Cold is not a flu

A cold is not the same as flu, but the symptoms of these disorders are very similar. Complaints such as a stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing , coughing and headache are both flu and cold. Yet there are a few important differences:

  1. A cold often starts with a sore throat or a runny nose. Influenza develops much faster with complaints such as severe muscle pain, shivering and headaches;
  1. There is generally no fever to a cold. People with flu often have (high) fever;
  1. In flu, both the upper and the lower airways are often inflamed. If you have a cold, then you usually only suffer from the upper airways;
  1. Influenza is caused by the influenza virus, a cold by a cold virus.

Virus free through the winter

Flu and colds are contagious. But how on earth do you avoid getting sick with all that shredding around you? We give you a few tips to get through the winter virus free.

  1. Pay attention to hygiene. Viruses literally go from hand to hand. They sit on doorknobs, shopping carts, the fingers of your child and so on. Washing your hands regularly is therefore the best way to protect yourself against an infection. This is also important if you have a cold yourself! Wash your hands especially after sneezing, coughing and blowing. This will prevent you from infecting others.
  1. Increase your resistance . Your body can better arm itself against viruses if you are fit. That means getting to bed and eating healthy in time. If necessary, provide additional vitamins and minerals.
  1. Get a flu shot . This is primarily intended for people with a reduced resistance or physical condition, who are more at risk of serious complications. The flu shot does not protect you against a cold.

Reduce cold complaints

Have you become sick despite all precautions? A cold does not have to ruin your day. There are various means that reduce the flu and cold symptoms. A brief overview of the most important products that are indispensable in your medicine cabinet:

  1. Nasal spray : helps you breathe more freely and keeps the sinuses open.
  2. Painkillers : paracetamol helps against fever, headache and other aches. If you want a stronger remedy, choose an NSAID (eg ibuprofen or aspirin). This painkiller also works anti-inflammatory.
  3. Throat pastilles : soften a sore throat and contain antibacterial ingredients.
  4. Echinaforce : homeopathic medicine that activates the immune system.
  5. Vitamin C: accelerates recovery.

Sources: RIVM,

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