Cold vs. Flu

January 12, 2016 01:00 PM

Does it Matter?

When a winter illness happens, you feel awful and just want to stay in bed. Does it really matter if it’s a cold or the flu? Actually, yes, it does.

Colds tend to sneak up on you. First, a couple of sneezes followed by a stuffy, runny nose. You also could have a cough, sinus congestion, and/or an earache. We’ve all had colds and if you’re an adult in reasonably good health, it will be gone in a week to ten days. Stay hydrated and stay warm until it passes.

Influenza is a different beast. It hits fast and hard, usually with a high fever. Your head and whole body feel the pain and you just want to get to bed and stay there. While the fever and worst symptoms last 3-4 days, the fatigue can last weeks. If you can get to your healthcare provider quickly, that is, within the first 24-48 hours of the development of symptoms, there are medicines available to help shorten and lessen the progress of the disease. With either a cold or the flu, if symptoms persist or if you have a severe cough, see your healthcare professional. Bronchitis or pneumonia can be life threatening.

This year’s flu season has been slow getting off the ground. If you haven’t gotten your annual flu shot, there’s still time. Need a primary care provider close to you? Call: 855.385.HEAL (4325).


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