For Your Health: How to Know If You Have a Cold or the Flu
With the kids back in school, the weather turning cooler and damper, it's that time of year again: Cold and flu season.
Both respiratory illnesses are caused by viruses, so antibiotics will be of no help in getting rid of the infections. There are, however, antiviral medications your health care provider can prescribe to aid in reducing the severity of the flu, so it's helpful to be able to tell whether you have a cold or the flu.
Often the difference between a common cold and the flu will be the severity of the symptoms:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- No fever
- Coughing, mild to moderate
- Sometimes mild muscle aches and pains
- Sometimes mild weakness
- Sometimes chest discomfort
- Fever first few days
- Muscle aches and pains which may be moderate to severe
- Coughing, moderate to severe
- Moderate to severe tiredness and weakness
- Chest discomfort
- Sometimes runny or stuffy nose, sore throat
For complete chart of symptoms, visit Wellness.UCI.EDU
Knowing the difference between symptoms of the common cold and the flu will help you make the decision whether to visit your health care provider or simply stay home and self-treat. The antiviral medications for treatment of the flu work best when taken within the first two days of symptoms, so early recognition of the symptoms is in your best health interest.
Resources: Wellness.uci.edu " Cold vs. Flu: Know the Difference "
Flu.gov " Treatment "
Mayoclinic.org " Cold remedies: What works, what doesn't and what can't hurt "
Image Credit » Public Domain CCO License via Pixabay OpenClips http://pixabay.com/en/cold-disease-emoticon-smiley-156666/