COLD AND FLU
Sometimes it’s challenging to differentiate between the flu and the common cold. The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar flu-like symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone.
Colds are one of the most common illnesses with over 3 million cases in the US alone each year. Colds are viral infections that affect your upper respiratory tract, primarily your nose and throat. Common symptoms are muscle pain, coughing, nasal congestion or sinus pressure, sneezing and a runny rose. Colds can spread easily and in a variety of ways, including skin-to-skin contact, saliva, airborne respiratory droplets and by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces.
Covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, washing your hands regularly, limiting contact with those who have the cold, and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands are good practices to follow to limit the spread of colds. Rarely do colds need special medical attention, with symptoms usually self-resolving within two weeks. The best treatments for a cold is rest, to keep your immune system strong, and to drink plenty of fluids, to avoid dehydration.
The flu has many of the same symptoms of a cold, affecting the lungs, sinuses, and throat. The primary symptoms of the flu are a fever, muscle aches, coughing, sneezing, chills, fatigue, runny rose, and congestion. Similar to the cold, the flu can be spread though skin to skin contact, through saliva, through respiratory droplets in the air, or through handling a contaminated object. The virus can spread from one day before symptoms start to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick, and even longer with high risk patients. Those who are at high risk of the flu virus are the elderly, young children, pregnant women, and those with an already weakened immune system. Once again, the best treatment for the flu is ample rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relieving medication can help relieve some of the symptoms of the flu.
The risk of getting the flu can be minimized and the symptoms reduced by getting an annual flu vaccine. Flu tests are available to diagnose the ailment, as well as determine the severity and type of flu.
Marque Urgent Care offers the flu shot in all of our facilities. Marque Urgent Care administers thousands of flu shots each season and most flu shots visits take less than 15 minutes. We also offer packages such as our Total Wellness Flu Package that offers the flu shot, Total Cholesterol and HDL Test, blood sugar test and blood pressure check.
The severity of the flu and associated complications can depend on certain risk factors. Older people, young children, pregnant women, people with conditions (such as diabetes, asthma, or heart disease) and people who live in elder communities or nursing homes are at greater risk.
For more information about symptoms, vaccinations, and complications related to seasonal influenza, please visit the CDC’s website
For information regarding the upcoming flu season, please refer to: DCE Advisory 08302017