In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and a new variant (omicron), the population of Brazil also has to deal with a new outbreak of a respiratory virus: influenza. Therefore, the question arises: flu, coronavirus or sinusitis?
However, identifying the correct symptoms can be difficult. Thinking about it, the infectologist and member of Doctoralia Dr. Ricardo Paul Kosop explains the differences between respiratory syndromes and what to do when faced with the respective diagnoses. paying:
How can we differentiate between COVID-19, influenza and sinusitis?
The symptoms of all three problems are very similar. That is, they can all manifest as cough, runny nose, and sometimes fever, among other respiratory conditions. Therefore, clinically it is very difficult to differentiate a simple exacerbated allergic sinusitis from a flu-like illness caused by the flu virus or even by Covid-19. Some symptoms may be typical and help to differentiate, as in allergic rhinitis, which is suddenly offset by exposure to some agent to which the patient is known to be allergic. But this does not completely guarantee the diagnosis.
And since we are in a pandemic, any and all so-called “new” respiratory symptoms must be investigated to confirm or deny a diagnosis of Covid-19. After all, this is the virus that is circulating the most right now and it has a huge collective impact. Therefore, the test helps in the diagnosis and treatment of the patient, as well as in the orientation of the isolation and contacts of it.
How do we get the flu? How can we care?
Influenza, or “flu syndrome“, is a set of signs and symptoms typical of an upper respiratory tract infection. Therefore, common symptoms include cough, runny nose, sore throat, and nasal congestion, and there may be a fever, which begins within a few hours to days and lasts an average of 5 to 7 days. It is usually caused by a virus that is transmitted through the respiratory tract, through speech, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and direct contact between contaminated hands and the nose, mouth, or eyes. .
In flu syndrome, treatment is usually with symptomatic medications such as anti-flu, analgesics, antipyretics and anti-inflammatories. In addition, it is important to ensure annual vaccination against influenza, the virus that causes influenza and that can lead to more serious conditions in patients in risk groups or with chronic diseases. Influenza-like illness can also be caused by other respiratory viruses. Therefore, other control and prevention measures should always be followed.
And a sinus attack? Which is the best treatment?
Sinusitis is a term that specifically refers to inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which are closely related to the nasal cavity. Therefore, it may be called “sinusitis” since the signs and symptoms of sinusitis and rhinitis overlap. Sinusitis “flares” can occur in people who have had allergic rhinitis and who have been exposed to certain triggers. Like dust, pollen, strong odors, or others, but they can also be triggered by a common cold or flu-like illness.
In cases of sinusitis, the most important thing is to stay well hydrated, clean your nose with saline solution and treat the cause of the condition. In the case of allergic rhinitis, for example, it is advisable to avoid exposure to the causative agents and treat them with the appropriate medications. This includes antiallergic or nasal corticosteroids, both in the acute crisis and in the long-term control of the disease. However, depending on the progression and severity of the symptoms, antibiotic treatment may be necessary, but for this it is necessary to undergo a medical evaluation.
People at high risk of complications, such as children under 5 years of age, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, should see a doctor for treatment evaluation.