Covid-19, cold, flu, sinusitis and rhinitis: otorhinolaryngologist explains how to differentiate symptoms

Covid-19, cold, flu, sinusitis and rhinitis: otorhinolaryngologist explains how to differentiate symptoms
Covid-19, cold, flu, sinusitis and rhinitis: otorhinolaryngologist explains how to differentiate symptoms

With the arrival of autumn, respiratory diseases tend to increase by up to 40%, further confusing illnesses.

Nowadays, a sneeze or a feeling of unease is enough to fear Covid-19 contamination to plague a family. According to the Brazilian Association of Otorhinolaryngology and Cervical-Facial Surgery (ABORL-CCF), respiratory diseases tend to increase by up to 40% in the fall, which can further confuse pathologies and symptoms.

The respiratory diseases of the new season are divided into two: infectious (flu, colds and sinusitis) and immunological (rhinitis or others with allergic conditions). It is necessary to prevent, so as not to have to remedy. “Bad habits can facilitate the transmission of viruses and bacteria. While poorly ventilated environments facilitate contagion by air, the sharing of objects encourages transmission by direct or indirect contact with the infected person ”, informs the otorhinolaryngologist, Prof. Dr. Eduardo Baptistella, president of ABORL-CCF.

How to differentiate the main autumn diseases

Covid-19. It is caused by the coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. It’s Covid-19. In mild to moderate cases, the symptoms presented are mostly fever, dry cough, tiredness and loss of taste or smell. The most serious symptoms involve difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest and loss of speech or movement.

A cold. It is caused by viruses, such as rhinovirus, adenovirus, coronavirus (not Covid-19). He has symptoms such as stuffy nose, itchy nose, sneezing and malaise.

Gripe. It is caused by the influenza virus. It has the same cold symptoms as fever and body aches. It may accompany sore throat and cough.

Rhinitis. It is caused by an allergic condition due to contact with dust, animals or climatic changes. He has symptoms such as stuffy nose, itchy nose and sneezing. It does not accompany fever or malaise.

Sinusitis. It is an infection of the sinuses caused by viruses or bacteria. He has symptoms such as nasal discharge, headaches, fever, cough and body aches.

When to look for a specialist

It is up to the otorhinolaryngologist to classify and evaluate the best treatment for the patient in a personalized way, be it cold, flu, rhinitis, sinusitis or Covid-19.

“In case of fever, body aches, runny nose or frequent headaches, seek immediate medical attention, either via telemedicine or face-to-face consultation. Never self-medicate, either with nasal sprays or pills, as decongestants lead not only to the rebound effect, but also to the development of other diseases, such as heart, blood pressure, glaucoma, septal perforations and bleeding in the nose ”, concludes Dr Baptistella.

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