Flu vs. Cold
Thursday, January 2, 2014
Is your office a symphony of wheezes, coughs and sneezing? Or is it eerily quiet because half the staff is home nursing a nasty flu? ‘Tis the season for more than shopping, unfortunately; it’s also flu season, which is really just getting started. You can find yourself battling the flu anytime of the year but flu season - when catching the virus is most common - is generally considered to be between late fall and late spring.
Influenza (the “flu) is a respiratory virus that is highly contagious, usually entering the body through the eyes, nose and mouth. It differs from a common cold in a number of ways, including:
Onset is abrupt
- A fever is typical; usually lasting 3 - 4 days
- Aches and chills are common
- Fatigue, chest discomfort and headache are common and can be severe
- Sneezing, stuffy nose and sore throat are less common
Common Cold Symptoms:
Avoiding the flu should be a high priority because it can be far more disruptive to our lives than a common cold - even to the point of needing hospitalization or facing death. The CDC recommends that everyone get a flu vaccine for the seasonal flu. While this is a great way to protect yourself, because there are a number of viruses circulating at any given time, you are still at risk of catching a flu virus even with the vaccine.
Onset is gradual
- A fever is uncommon
- Aches and chills are uncommon or very slight
- Fatigue, chest discomfort and headache are uncommon or very slight
- Sneezing, stuffy nose and sore throat are very common
Some of the ways you can avoid influenza and help prevent its spread include:
With a little precaution you can get through flu season unscathed. But if you do find yourself feverish and achy, be sure to give us a call.
Washing your hands. A lot. Every time you wash your hands you lower your risk of catching the flu virus - or even a common cold.
- If you are sick, staying home until you are well again.
- If you or someone in your house is sick, carefully cleaning and disinfecting areas where flu germs may be hiding.
- Covering your coughs and sneezes. This simple practice helps reduce the spread of germs significantly.
- If you do get the flu, contacting your doctor. You may be able to get antiviral medication to help with symptoms and to recover more quickly.