Friday, July 13, 2012

death - the difference between the common cold and the flu

There seems to be a major epidemic of the common cold in Australia, and newspapers like the Herald Sun are creating hysteria by using words like “Flu” in the headline, but going on to discuss the common cold in the article. By doing this they are just encouraging the sick leave junkies and the hypochondriacs.

As a contractor, I tend to work through most illnesses. I draw the line at real eyesight effecting migraines and anything requiring regular urgent toilet breaks, but these occur less frequently than the many variations of the cold virus.

One thing I’ve noticed, especially in the public sector, is that so many people start to talk about the flu the minute they start coughing and sniffling. I’m sorry, if you are capable of turning up to work and sneeze every now and then, but otherwise operate as usual, you don’t have influenza.

Influenza kills people! H1N1 is the variety we usually get here in Australia, and as you can see in the table below, even though it is a milder strain it has taken it's toll in years gone bye.

The common cold is inconvenient and uncomfortable, and can lead to other things, like pneumonia, if you don’t look after yourself, but you’re unlikely to die from it.

So get immunised against influenza, especially if you associate with susceptible people such as small children, old people and the long term ill.

If you do sneeze and cough, buy some lozenges, a nasal spray and some tissues and soldier on.

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