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An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a bulge or swelling in the aorta, the main blood vessel that runs from the heart down through the chest and tummy.
An AAA can be dangerous if it is not spotted early on.
It can get bigger over time and could burst (rupture), causing life-threatening bleeding.
Men aged 65 and over are most at risk of AAAs. This is why men are invited for screening to check for an AAA when they're 65.
AAAs do not usually cause any obvious symptoms, and are often only picked up during screening or tests carried out for another reason.
Some people with an AAA have:
a pulsing sensation in the tummy (like a heartbeat)
tummy pain that does not go away
lower back pain that does not go away
If an AAA bursts, it can cause:
sudden, severe pain in the tummy or lower back
sweaty, pale and clammy skin
a fast heartbeat
shortness of breath
fainting or passing out
An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)
Both illnesses are caused by viruses and affect the nose, throat, ears, and occasionally the lungs. They can be hard to tell apart as many of the symptoms are similar. The influenza virus (that comes in a variety of strains) causes flu.
However, a good rule of thumb to understand which virus you have is that colds usually affect only the nose and throat area, while flu makes your entire body feel unwell, often involving symptoms like fever, body aches and fatigue. The flu tends to have more severe symptoms, and can make you feel tired for a few weeks after your other symptoms improve.
Complications that arise from colds and flu (such as ear or sinus infections) are unusual, but children are amongst the groups most vulnerable to them.
Symptoms of colds & flu
The most common symptoms of a cold are:
• Runny or blocked nose
• Sore throat
• Mild fever
• Loss of appetite
• Generally feeling unwell
Sometimes, children can have an episode of vomiting, especially when coughing.
A child with flu will have similar symptoms to those of a cold, but they're more intense and last for longer. They may have a reduced appetite, tiredness and aches. They may also have ear pain if their middle ear becomes infected. It's also normal with the flu to have a high temperature and feel feverish. However, if your child is under three months old and has a temperature of 38°C or above, or is between three and six months old and has a temperature of 39°C or above, you should take them to the doctor.
Flu can also cause shortness of breath, wheezing and a harsh cough. It's important to keep close watch of children with these symptoms, even at night.
Colds can last from a few days to a week, while flu can take up to two weeks to go away, with tiredness lasting for around three weeks.
Treatment for colds & flu in children
There's no cure for these infections, however, the body is usually able to fight the infection and heal itself in a fairly short time. To help relieve symptoms:
• Make sure they rest at home. By not sending your child back to school until their fever, nose and throat symptoms are gone you will also help to prevent the spread of colds or flu
• Let your child rest as much as possible and offer water frequently
• Keep your child warm but take care to avoid overheating
• Control fever with paracetamol or ibuprofen in syrups
Take special care with cough syrups since there are age restrictions on most preparations. Check with your pharmacist about which preparations are most suitable for your child. Preparations may contain decongestants (for a blocked nose), expectorants (that loosen and thin your mucus so you can cough it up), antihistamines to aid sleep or cough suppressants.
Antibiotics are not used to treat colds and the flu since they have no effect on viruses. They are only useful in bacterial infections.
Difference between flu & colds?
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
a high temperature
shortness of breath
But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness.
The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.
How coronavirus is spread
Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food.
Do I need to avoid public places?
Most people can continue to go to work, school and other public places.
You only need to stay away from public places (self-isolate) if advised to by the 111 online coronavirus service or a medical professional.
How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
always wash your hands when you get home or into work
use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean