As the warming air temperature approaches, it is important to focus on strengthening immunity and preparing for the cold and flu season. Dr. Ivica Cvetković, a family medicine doctor, and Maja Žalac, a phytoaromatherapist, suggest that while it may not be possible to completely avoid these illnesses, taking proactive measures can help with a quicker recovery should you fall ill. They also advise distinguishing between cold, flu, and corona virus symptoms as each illness can have different complications.
According to Dr. Cvetković, cold symptoms usually appear gradually, beginning with a sore throat and followed by a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and a dry and unproductive cough. To alleviate these symptoms he recommends rest, tea with honey or ginger extracts, and a light diet that includes foods rich in antioxidants such as berries or citrus fruits. Additionally he suggests using nasal drops for a blocked nose and lozenges with vitamin C or echinacea for sore throat relief.
Flu symptoms appear suddenly starting with a fever followed by muscle pain, headache and dry cough. Symptoms can last up to ten days and full recovery can take up to three weeks. Complications of the flu include bronchitis ear infections pneumonia as well as severe complications for people with weak immunity making it potentially fatal. In order to prevent flu Dr Cvetković advises getting vaccinated every year before flu season starts.
Dr Cvetković also emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy diet rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A