However, it becomes difficult to distinguish these diseases, as findings such as loss of sense of smell and taste peculiar to Covid-19 disappear with new variants. For this reason, it is important to make an accurate diagnosis by applying the PCR test. Assoc. Dr. Burak Karabulut gave information about Covid-19 and upper respiratory tract infections and made suggestions for prevention.
PCR still remains important as a differential diagnosis method.
Recently, new variants of Covid-19 have started to be confused with upper respiratory tract infections very often. For this reason, Covid-19 should be ruled out first by PCR test in patients admitted to the hospital. Because studies have shown that Covid-19 can start with symptoms such as runny nose, headache, cough, especially in patients who have been vaccinated. Since upper respiratory tract infections other than corona come with such findings, they have started to be confused with each other. In the light of existing studies and information, it is not yet possible to distinguish them from each other by physical examination alone. Therefore, PCR testing is still important in differential diagnosis, especially in adult patients.
The rate of those who think that they do not have Covid-19 because they have a runny nose is increasing
The proportion of patients who think that they do not have Covid-19 because they have a runny nose, so they continue to mix in their daily life without applying to the hospital, or who refuse the PCR test, claiming that they do not have Covid-19 even if they apply to the hospital, is increasing. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the awareness of the society on this issue. It seems that the distinction between upper respiratory tract infections and Covid-19 will continue to be a big problem this winter season. There is no clear indication that a solution will be found in the near future.
Do not lose your motivation in prevention measures
Last year, upper respiratory tract infections were not seen very often due to more attention paid to preventive measures. But this year, cases of colds have increased. The fact that schools were not opened in this period last year, many workplaces were working from home or within the scope of short work, and the protection measures were not taken as much as before due to the loss of motivation at the beginning, and the daily life in the society continues almost as if Covid-19 did not exist. caused an increase in infections. At the same time, of course, upper respiratory tract infections naturally increase with sudden changes in air temperatures such as September-October.
7 suggestions to protect yourself from Covid-19 and upper respiratory tract infections
1. The biggest precaution is not to get an infection in the first place. The prolongation of the pandemic has caused the loss of motivation in the first periods of protection measures. Although masks are carried, it has been started not to be worn in friends and offices unless it is necessary. For this reason, the important thing at first is not to compromise on mask, distance and cleaning rules.
2. It is necessary not to remove the mask when secondarily sick, to be isolated from other people as much as possible and to start the necessary treatment under the control of an otolaryngologist. However, if recovery is not noted within a few days, PCR testing should be performed. Because not knowing whether we have a Covid infection; it creates danger for ourselves, our family and all our social circles with which we come into contact. While the patient himself may be able to get over it slightly, he may endanger the life of one or more of the people he is in contact with.
3. Another important point is the spread of vaccination. It is important that the vaccination continues without slowing down and that all individuals who are entitled to use this right in accordance with the vaccination schedule approved by the Ministry of Health.
4. The high consumption of refined and packaged foods after the pandemic, especially the lack of quality foods in metropolitan life, has increased the importance of vitamins and elements, which are critical for our lives, such as vitamins C and D, and zinc and magnesium.
5. It is important to consume colorful vegetables and seasonal fruits fresh. Immune resistance should not be broken especially during this period. Not everyone who encounters the virus becomes sick. Some people can get by without getting sick. However, if the immune system is already weakened, herpes appears on the lips, if there is a flu or cold and if a coronavirus infection is encountered, the possibility of this person being more seriously ill; It is much more likely to be sick than a person with a strong immune system. That’s why we have to stay vigilant, firm and resilient. This is through adopting a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.
6. During this period, air exchange is experienced at a high rate. It is possible to get cold in the morning, get hot at noon, and get cold again in the evening. It is very common for sweat to dry on a person. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to details such as taking an umbrella with you in accordance with all these conditions, as well as wearing a thin cardigan that can be removed when it gets hot at noon. These weathers are the favorite weather for colds.
7. Finally, we will get through this process together by staying as far away from mass events as possible, following mask, distance, hygiene rules and keeping the immune system fit and vigorous.