Cold and Flu Treatment

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Are you suffering from a cold and flu?

Both of these types of viral infection are so common and so expected that we barely even pay attention to the symptoms anymore. But there are differences between cold and flu symptoms that you should be familiar with. Additionally, since these symptoms are common to other, more serious diseases, there are specific symptoms you should monitor. Many people think that both the cold and the flu are the same. Nevertheless, that is not true.

Common Cold and Flu Symptoms

Let us start with common cold symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Fever – more common in children than in adults for the cold
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Mild body ache
  • Sneezing

Flu symptoms are not that different, although they tend to be more intense:

  • Fever/chills
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Body ache
  • Fatigue
  • Depending on the type of flu you may experience vomiting and/or diarrhea
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Covid-19 similar to the common cold?

The common cold does share some symptoms with Covid-19, which is why if you are having cold or flu-like symptoms, it is important that you contact your doctor, get tested, and follow your state’s public health protocols.

How do you get rid of a cold or flu fast?

Although your body is well-equipped to deal with the common cold or the flu – unless your immune system is somehow compromised – there are some medications and protocols that will help you get rid of cold or flu faster.

To manage the symptoms of your flu or cold:

  • Use over-the-counter flu or cold medication – Tylenol cold and flu, Vock VapoRub, and cough syrup can help
  • Honey – Eases soreness in your throat and if you find pure honey from the farmer’s market, which can have some added benefits from the nutrients in it
  • Lozenges or hard candy can also help you with your sore throat
  • Acetaminophen or ibuprofen for the pain – if you do not like to use cold and flu medication because it makes you drowsy

If you would like to help your body’s response to cold or flu, you can also do the following:

  • Rest well – Sleep does wonders for your body!
  • Make sure you drink water, tea, juice, and other such beverages to stay hydrated
  • Add moisture to the air – some people even like to nebulize, although you should check with your doctor first to understand how to do it

Is the common cold the same as influenza?

The common cold is not caused by influenza. The flu is caused by influenza. There are four main kinds of influenza, each with different strains – Influenza A, B, C, and D. The flu vaccine is about 60% effective against these viruses.

How long are you contagious after the cold?

When you get the common cold, it will take approximately 24 hours before you feel any symptoms. During those 24 hours in which you were already infected but cannot feel any symptoms yet, you will already be contagious. You will then remain contagious for up to 7 more days after you get cold symptoms.

Everyone has heard about the cold and flu season, and if you are reading this, you have had either the cold or flu several times in your life already. But are there any cold and flu symptoms that you do not know? Are the common cold and the flu the same? How can you deal with both fast?

Which Viruses Cause the Common Cold and which are Responsible for the Flu?

There are a few viruses that can cause the common cold, while there is only one family of viruses that causes the flu. Influenza is responsible for all flu infections, but when it comes to the common cold, it could be a variety of viruses – apart from human coronaviruses – such as:

  • Rhinovirus
  • RSV
  • Parainfluenza viruses or HPIVs – which are not related to influenza

There are about 200 viruses in total that can cause cold symptoms.

Take your Cold or Flu Seriously!

No matter which kind of virus caused your cold or which kind of influenza gave you the flu, it is important that you take both seriously. You should strive to recover fully, making sure that you do not develop any complications. Take all the steps necessary to treat the symptoms and manage your cold or flu properly.

Complications from Cold or Flu

Common signs to look out for to avoid complications from these viral infections are:

  • Fever above 101.3 degrees in adults or 100.4 degrees in children – high fevers can be dangerous, so make sure you lower your temperature with medication or a lukewarm bath
  • If your fever returns after you beat it
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Severe pain
  • Loss of appetite – especially in babies

If you experience any of the above, you should contact your doctor. Keep in mind that you can develop bacterial infections following viral infections, especially after the flu. These can be especially dangerous if you get them as your immune system is fighting a viral infection.

Fortunately, your doctor here at Antidote Health will be able to help you if you have any of these complications from a common cold or the flu, and you will not have to leave the comfort of your home. Make sure you contact your doctor and get the treatment that you need before those complications get out of control.

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If you think or have any doubt that you are experiencing a medical emergency, you should immediately seek emergency care by calling 911, or any other emergency service.