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Do You Have the Flu or a Cold? Getting Through the Flu Season

By HERWriter
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Is it the Flu or a Cold? Getting Through the Flu Season B-D-S/PhotoSpin

2) “Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze.”

3) “Consider antiviral prescriptions if within 48 hours of onset of symptoms.”

So do you have a cold, flu, sinus infection or just really bad allergies?

Dr. Susan Rehm, the medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases said in an email that knowing the “flu F.A.C.T.S.” can help people differentiate between all the similar illnesses.

“Flu is associated with Fever, Aches, Chills, Tiredness, and Sudden Onset,” she said.

Dr. Jeannie Kenkare, the chief medical officer of PhysicianOne Urgent Care said in an email that although the flu resembles the common cold, symptoms of the flu tend to be much worse.

Symptoms of the common cold include: stuffy/runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing and a sore throat.

Here are Kenkare’s suggestions for getting through the flu season:

1) “Get plenty of rest. Rest helps your body fight infection, especially while you have a fever.”

2) “Drink lots of fluids, whether it is water or clear soups. Fluids not only help prevent dehydration, but they help loosen mucus.”

3) “Gargle with warm salt water a few times a day to help relieve a sore throat.”

4) “Use saline nose drops to help loosen mucus and moisten your nose.”

5) “Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke, which will make your symptoms worse.”

So what else should you know about the flu this season? Papatya Tankut, the vice president of pharmacy affairs for CVS Health provided three tidbits via email:

1) “It’s important to get the flu shot every year because your immunity declines over the course of the year, and the vaccine is updated annually to protect against the latest flu strains.”

2) “It takes up to two weeks for your immunity to build up after getting a flu shot, so it is best to get vaccinated as soon as you can.”

3) “For people over the age of 65, a high-dose vaccination is recommended in order to provide better protection, as there is greater risk of developing severe illness from the flu.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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