Cold and Flu
Your throat is sore, your head and muscles are aching, and now you’re running a fever. Is this a cold? Or could it be the flu?
The common cold and flu (influenza) are contagious respiratory illnesses with very similar symptoms. While colds are generally mild and don’t result in serious health problems, the flu can lead to serious, even life-threatening, complications.
So, how can you tell the two apart? The only way to truly know is to be tested. Get a rapid flu test today at Haven Elite Urgent Care in Rancho Cucamonga.
Cold and Flu Basics
Over 200 viruses cause the common cold, with the rhinovirus being the most common driving force. Cold symptoms are generally mild, last from 7-10 days, and include:
- Sore Throat
- Runny or Stuffy Nose
- Body Aches
- Watery eyes
Cold infections can happen any time of the year, and are spread through the air and close personal contact. You can reduce your risk of catching a cold by washing your hands often, not touching your face, disinfecting surfaces, and staying away from people who are sick. There is no cure for a cold; the best medicine is to simply rest and get plenty of fluids.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by influenza viruses. It occurs seasonally (usually October through May), and is spread through droplets in the air when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Flu symptoms can be mild to severe, come on suddenly, and include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
Children and some adults may also experience vomiting and diarrhea.
Young children, adults 65 and up, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic illnesses are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu. The best way to protect yourself, and those most vulnerable, is to get an annual flu shot!
If you do come down with the flu, our providers can prescribe an antiviral medication proven to lessen the severity and duration of your illness. When taken promptly, antivirals can reduce the time you are sick by 1-2 days, ease symptoms, and prevent complications such as pneumonia.