Stay Cold And Flu Free By Recognizing These Signs And Treating Them

With flu season in full swing, being able to recognise and treat cold and flu signs and symptoms is a must for every student and working professional. Cold and flu symptoms can strike suddenly and disrupt work and school life for up to two weeks.

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Common Cold – It is basically a virus-induced respiratory infection, and resolves fairly quickly with little to no health complications. You most likely have a cold if –

  • your nose feels blocked or stuffy
  • throat feels scratchy
  • you are constantly sneezing
  • have body and head aches
  • are feeling fatigued
  • are running a mild temperature

Treatment And Precautions – A common cold can take up to a week to resolve with over the counter medicines like cough syrups and decongestants. Keeping hydrated also helps ease the symptoms. It’s highly contagious, so make sure to wash hands regularly, avoid sharing utensils, and cover your mouth while sneezing to avoid spreading the virus.

Flu – Influenza is a more severe kind of respiratory infection and can take from two to three weeks to resolve. In some cases, flu symptoms can give rise to full blown health conditions like pneumonia. Look out for –

  • pounding headaches for long periods of time;
  • long lasting muscle and body aches;
  • extreme exhaustion;
  • bouts of dry cough;
  • sore, raw feeling throat;
  • chills;
  • runny or blocked nose; and
  • vomiting (mostly in children)

Treatment And Precautions – Flu symptoms usually call for a visit to the doctor who might prescribe antiviral drugs and pain relievers. It’s best to start an antiviral course as soon as the symptoms strike. Ingesting plenty of fluids is the best way to ensure a fast recovery. If your symptoms also include shortness of breath in addition to above, it could be pneumonia in which case it’s best to schedule a doctor’s visit as soon as possible.

Learn To Tell The Difference – While cold and flu signs and symptoms tend to overlap – like sore throats and headaches – flu symptoms are a lot more severe. A cold usually passes after a couple of days of discomfort but a flu can result in being bedridden for up to two weeks. Experts recommend monitoring temperature to determine if you have a flu, since common cold symptoms rarely surpass fever higher than 101 degrees.

Cold and flu are the number one cause of sick leaves from school and office in the US. It therefore becomes necessary to have a list of cold and flu signs and symptoms that you can start treating as soon as they appear and minimise the risk to yourself and people around you. Make sure to also mark your calendar to get the annual flu shot to stay safe during flu season.