You are likely to be asked some of the below questions by your patients, if you haven’t had them already.

There are many myths surrounding colds and flu

Q. When should I keep my child home from school?

Parents should use their judgment when their child is feeling too sick to go to school. It is important for them to stay home when they are most contagious. For colds, children are contagious the entire time that they have symptoms, but are most contagious right after they contract the viral infection, before they are symptomatic. In the case of the flu, they are most infectious from the day before symptoms start until about the fifth day of symptoms.

Q. How can we avoid passing the germs on to my family?

There are many steps to can take to try to avoid spreading cold and flu germs. Children should be taught to always cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze or cough, either with a tissue or by coughing or sneezing into their elbow. Throw used tissues away immediately, ideally into a toilet where they can be flushed away without anyone else touching them. Everyone in the family should wash hands often. For the sick child, especially after sneezing, coughing, or touching the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Minimise body contact. Don’t kiss, hug, or stand so close to someone that saliva might get on them when talking. Make sure someone is disinfecting household surfaces and items frequently, including children’s toys.

Q. Why do colds and the flu increase in the winter?

Cold weather itself does not cause colds, but people are more likely to stay indoors and spread cold germs to one another when it’s cold outside. There is emerging evidence that influenza spreads most efficiently at low temperatures and in low humidity, which may explain why cases of the flu increase so much in the winter.

However, flu season extends to the summer months.

Q. Is there any truth to the old saying, “Feed a cold, starve a fever”?

No. When a patient has a cold or the flu, they should be sure to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of fluids, but there is no need to eat more or less than usual.

Q. Is it okay to get the flu vaccination when I have a cold?

Yes, patients can get vaccinated when they have a cold, as long as they are not feeling very sick and do not have a fever.

Source: Harvard Medical