Do You Have The Flu Or Just A Cold? Here’s How To Tell


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The flu isn’t enjoying round. Consultants say it’s been notably extreme, with greater than 60,000 Individuals testing optimistic for influenza since Oct. 1 (and that quantity will preserve rising).

Why is that this flu season so tough in contrast with some others? All of it comes right down to the sort of flu that’s spreading, in response to Margarita Rohr, a medical teacher of medication at New York College’s Langone Well being.

“This season is totally different as a result of H3N2 is the predominant pressure of flu,” she instructed HuffPost. “That is necessary as a result of traditionally, this pressure of flu has been related to greater depth of signs, extra frequent hospitalizations and deaths.”

On condition that, the primary indicators of the sniffles may induce panic. However there are distinct variations between a run-of-the-mill chilly and flu signs, and there are methods to handle each to get you feeling higher as quickly as attainable. 

Beneath, consultants break down the warning indicators that distinguish whether or not you’re coping with the flu versus a chilly, plus tips about methods to nurse your self again to well being.

The Distinction Between A Chilly And The Flu

Flu signs are sometimes extra intense.

A chilly and the flu have signs that overlap, equivalent to a sore throat, fever, cough, headache, congestion, sneezing. Nonetheless, the severity of the signs is normally what units the flu aside, Rohr stated.

She added that “a significant symptom of the flu is muscle and physique aches, which may be extreme. Physique aches or muscle aches could also be gentle, if current in any respect, with a standard chilly.”

Flu signs additionally seem rapidly.

For those who really feel high quality on the workplace and out of the blue really feel sick whenever you stroll by your entrance door, likelihood is you may be coming down with the flu. Colds normally take a bit of extra time to develop, in response to Ian Tong, chief medical officer at Physician On Demand.

“You may go from properly to sick inside just some hours [if you have the flu],” Tong stated. Signs could begin with a cough however then will quickly progress to a excessive fever, physique aches and fatigue, he stated.

Your physique will really feel extra run down with the flu.

Are you feeling underneath the climate however might power your self to go to the workplace? You’re most likely coping with a chilly reasonably than the flu.

“Excessive exhaustion is also indicative of the flu,” Rohr stated. “This symptom can typically final for weeks, whereas with the frequent chilly, this symptom is normally gentle and restricted, if current in any respect.”

How To Take Care Of Your self

See a health care provider for a prescription ASAP.

There are therapies for the flu by prescriptions like Tamiflu, an antiviral remedy that will cut back the size of the sickness. However you need to act quick.

“The therapy window for flu is normally inside the first 48 hours of the onset of signs,” Tong stated.

Get plenty of relaxation.

Congratulations, your mattress is now your new greatest pal.

“Some of the necessary issues you are able to do for your self is to permit your physique to relaxation when you are feeling underneath the climate,” Tong stated. “Resting offers your physique an opportunity to combat off the an infection and can assist increase your immune system.”

Keep hydrated and eat good meals.

This goes for the flu or a standard chilly. You are likely to get dehydrated as a result of fever sweats or lack of urge for food, Tong stated.

“Ingesting heat and sizzling liquids can support in rehydrating your physique and [alleviate] signs equivalent to congestion, sore throat and coughing,” he stated. “Wholesome soups and broths may assist in feeding your physique the vitamins it wants whereas recovering.”

(Searching for rooster soup recipes? We’ve received you lined.)

Use house cures to assist ease your signs.

Gadgets you have already got available in your medication cupboard or at house could assist abate among the nasty unwanted side effects of your sickness.

“Utilizing a humidifier could make it simpler to breathe,” Rohr stated. “Fevers may be handled with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Cough drops could soothe a dry or sore throat and assist reduce the cough.”

Take a shower or bathe.

“In case you are experiencing a chill or a fever, taking a heat bathtub or cool bathe might provide some consolation,” Tong stated. “Including bathe or bathtub bombs containing eucalyptus, menthol or different important oils might make the expertise extra nice.”

Search further medical care if the signs grow to be an excessive amount of.

The flu makes you extra inclined to different diseases, like bronchitis, pneumonia and sinusitis, in response to Rohr. For those who’re experiencing chest pains, dizziness or problem respiration, it’s greatest to hunt a well being skilled straight away to verify one thing extra extreme isn’t occurring, she confused.

It’s additionally necessary to observe your fever, conserving an in depth eye on main spikes in addition to the precise temperature. A excessive fever of as much as 103 or 104 levels Fahrenheit, a fast coronary heart charge or shortness of breath shouldn’t be ignored, Tong stated.

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