Cold or Flu-Can You Tell The Difference?

As fall officially starts the cold and flu season is upon us. It is important to fight against infections before they can have a chance to start. Practicing good hand hygiene and getting a flu immunization is a step in the right direction. Flu and cold symptoms can be very similar – you’re feeling under the weather, exhausted, coughing and have a stuffed nose.  Do you know if it’s the flu or simply a cold?

Here are some key factors to help you determine:

The common cold targets your nose and throat areas. A running nose, congestion and sneezing occur-sore throat, mild cough, pain and fatigue can happen as well. These signs and symptoms can last anywhere from 1-3 weeks.

The flu will go to your nose throat and lungs. fever, aches, chills, tiredness and sudden onset (F.A.C.T.S) occur here. You may also experience a sore throat and rough cough. Vomiting and diarrhea are common with the flu as well. The flu affects the respiratory tract, not the digestive tract. If you feel like you’re getting flu symptoms, make an appointment to see a physician right away. You may be prescribed over the counter meds or stronger fopr a cold. The flu requires bed rest and liquids along with medication.

Getting the flu vaccine is your best protection against flu and even pneumonia. Vaccination is crucial for those at highest risk individuals like children under 5, seniors, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions. Get yours as early as possible in flu season!