Flu vs. The Common Cold

That time of the year is coming up again. Are you ready for flu season? Consider getting a flu shot in the next month to help protect yourself against this contagious illness all season long.

Do I have the flu or a common cold? Symptoms of Influenza and the common cold have a lot of similarities. Flu symptoms are classically sudden onset of fever, body aches, cough, congestion and sometimes GI upset. If you are diagnosed with the flu early, you may benefit from anti-viral medications to help lessen the duration and severity of your symptoms. Cold symptoms are less severe and still can involve fever, sore throat, and cough. These symptoms are usually not as severe as the flu but still are not fun to experience. Both flu and the common cold are caused by viruses so you will get better over time. Symptoms can be easily treated with over-the-counter medications that target your symptoms. Neither the flu nor common cold will benefit from antibiotics.

Complications of the flu may include a secondary bacterial infection which may benefit from antibiotics. Be sure to see your doctor if your symptoms have worsened or not improved after the initial first few days of symptoms.

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