What are the facts about colds and Influenza (flu)?
The common cold and the flu are both caused by viruses.
Well over 200 different viruses can cause colds.
Fewer viruses cause the flu, which is the reason there is a shot for the flu but not for colds.
Ask your health care provider at Rego Park if a flu shot is right for you and in addition which type on influenza vaccine you should consider getting.
How would you the patient know how to interpret your signs and symptoms?
Colds can occur at any time, but the flu is more common in Winter.
In general cold symptoms tend to be milder than flu symptoms.
See the table below to see where you fit in.
Symptoms develop slowly
and are more milder
- Fever up to 102 F
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Mild fatigue
- Some muscle aching
- Sore throat
- Watery eyes
- Can last 2 to 14 days
Symptoms come on suddenly
and are more severe
- Fever over 102 F
- Stuffy Nose
- Extreme fatigue
- Dry Cough
- Muscle aching
- Chills and sweats
- Loss of appetite
- Can last 2-7 days but cough and fatigue may linger for 2-3 weeks
How to treat your cold or flu?
Antibiotics do not kill viruses like colds or the flu. There are ways to treat your cold and flu symptoms.
- Get lots of rest, especially when you have a fever.
- Drink lots of fluids to help loosen mucus.
- Sooth a sore throat by gargling with warm salt water. You may use a throat spray or lozenges.
- Use saline (salt water) nose drops which help loosen the mucus and moisten tender skin in your nose.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco.
If you have the flu symptoms, call your health care provider if:
- You are 65 years of age or older,
- You are pregnant
- You have chronic medical conditions such as asthma , diabetes or heart disease.
- Your illness seems severe.
Your doctor may prescribe a flu antiviral drug.
It works best if given 2 days of getting sick.
Preventing colds and the flu is in your hands
You can protect yourself against colds and flu even if others are sick.
Much comes from keeping your HANDS germ free.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often.
- Use soap and water
- Scrub your hands all over while counting to 20 or 30.
- Use a towel to turn off the faucet and open the door.
- You may use a sanitizer that contains alcohol.
- Disinfect surfaces at work and home often.
- Pay special attention to items that people touch often, door knobs, phones and keyboards
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who have cold or the flu especially during their first few days of symptoms when they’re more likely to spread their germs.