How to avoid the ‘super cold’ that’s sweeping the nation



The UK is currently in the ice cold grip of what’s being dubbed as the “the worst cold ever” .

Sufferers might have a difficult time trying to work out if they have this season’s ‘super cold’, the flu or Covid-19.

Ascertaining differences between them is not only tough but near impossible to know.

This is mainly down to symptoms that have changed over time. Continuous coughing, fever and loss of taste were three main symptoms of Covid-19 when it first appeared in March 2020.

Over a year and a half later, these symptoms have mutated even closer to those of the common cold – and the only real way to discover if you have Covid-19 is if you take a coronavirus test.

What is the reason for the emergence of what some are calling ‘the world’s worst cold ever’?

Lockdowns meant less people mixed. As the country opened up, relaxed its Covid-safety restrictions and masks became optional, this led to a rise in viruses that had been temporarily stopped.

On This Morning, Dr. Philippa Kaye confirmed this by saying: “Last year we were all at home and we were being very good with our restrictions and social distancing. That meant that whatever viruses would be circulating around couldn’t get everywhere.

“Now as we’ve opened up – universities, schools, hospitals and nightclubs are back – they can spread from person to person. It might be that for some people, for example children, who didn’t have a lot of exposure in the past, they might be getting last year’s as well as this year’s.”

Is it really the ‘world’s worst cold’?

Dr Philippa had thoughts on why cold sufferers might call it the ‘world’s worst cold’. She said: “If you think about the last time you had a cold it was a bit of a while ago. So we don’t quite remember how miserable they make us feel. Secondly it’s not the virus that is making you feel unwell, it’s your body’s immune system.

“The natural defence system is doing those things to try to kill the virus. The temperature isn’t the virus. The temperature is your body trying to kill it.

“We just really need to look after ourselves and be assured that for most people it will last a few days and they will get better.

“The absolute best thing that anybody can do this winter is, if you haven’t had your Covid vaccine then please have it. If you’re eligible for the flu vaccine then go get that too.”

Addressing people’s state of mind and public perception of colds, Dr. Philippa added: “We have been afraid for over 18 months. The levels of stress and anxiety in the population have been really raised. We’ve been taught to fear a cough, fear a cold, and I think that’s why so many people are worried about this. Covid has been much more serious than this cold will be and it’s really important we stick to guidance.”

The flu vaccine has been extended this year to those who are over the age of 50, pregnant people, those with a chronic health condition and up to Year 11 in schools.

Leading a healthy lifestyle and eating well can help the body stay in optimum condition to avoid catching colds.

Online coach and former 80KG Body Building Champion John Clarke said: “A healthy diet and training plan means my clients are less prone to catching a cold. For example, if my eating goes off plan if I’m on holiday, I’ll get cold sores as I’m not getting enough nutrients.”

Here are some tips to help you avoid getting this season’s ‘super cold’

  • Exercise good hand hygiene and wash your hands regularly
  • Make sure your house is well ventilated
  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep and are well rested
  • Eat healthily and have a good diet by limiting processed foods such as cereal, sausage rolls, pies, pasties and crisps
  • Be in good general health by keeping hydrated and topped up with vitamin C
  • Exercise regularly and enjoy a walk outdoors for some fresh air

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