Cold or Flu? Which One Do You Have?

"flu shot"

See, he’s getting his flu shot. Why shouldn’t you?

As the new flu season is just around the corner, us here at The Banner Herald want to make sure that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. So, common cold or flu? Which one do you have?

To start, let’s talk prevention. Maybe you don’t even need to read the rest of the article if you read and take heed of this part, since except for the vaccine, both illnesses have pretty much the same prevention methods.

Prevention

Get your flu shot. It’s simple. This way, you will not be affected by the affliction, and you will not be a carrier either. Get your shot. It helps. No vaccine has yet been invented to prevent the common cold, but with a bit of common sense from you and people around you, you may just be free of it this season.

First of all, wash your hands. You probably heard that for as long you can remember, and for a good reason. If you wash your hands, the virus won’t get in your system and you will be just fine.

Avoid contact with sick people, as much as possible. Don’t go out of your way to avoid those already infected, but be careful. Turn your head if someone sneezes. This sort of thing.

Now, let’s assume you’ve gotten sick. What can you do to prevent further infecting others? Stay home for at least three days after being diagnosed. In the case of the common cold, three days should be enough, as the virus stops being contagious after that. However, if you have the flu, stay home for as much as the doctor tells you. It’s important not to spread the disease.

Symptoms

If you’ve read this far, you’re either already sick, or you’re enjoying the article. Since you did make it this far, let’s talk symptoms. This is where you’ll find out if you have the cold or the flu.

For the common cold, the symptoms are more… annoying than serious. You get a sore throat, your nose starts running, and you cough. If you are particularly exhausted, you might even have a fever.  Oh, and you sneeze. Like, a lot.

Now, if you have the flu, things will not be that easy. You will still get the sore throat, the runny nose, the cough, and even the fever. However, the last two will be slightly different, and will be joined by other symptoms.

You will have a hacking, dry cough, and the fever will be high. These will be accompanied by severe muscle and body aches, headaches, stomach issues (like vomiting and diarrhea) and a profound fatigue that can extend for up to two-three weeks.

As for treatment, just see a doctor. Do not take advice from any non-medical personnel, as it could be poor advice, and could potentially make the situation even worse. Trust your doctors. This is what they are paid to do.

Well, this was it for this article. I hope it’s going to help you get through the next few months while still remaining healthy.

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