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Cold and Flu Season is Here

Fall is here and along with all the Halloween decorations and pumpkin flavored coffees comes the cold and flu season.

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We all have to tough through a cold from time to time but how do we know when it’s more than just a cold. The common cold usually presents with a mild fever (if any) as well as scratchy throat, nasal congestion and dry cough. These symptoms are mild, develop slowly over a couple of days and resolve within a week or so. The flu’s symptoms come on much more abruptly and are much more severe. If you find yourself experiencing a rapid onset of fevers, chills, body aches, and fatigue along with more than mild cold symptoms you may have the flu.

Both illnesses are caused by viruses and are not treated with antibiotics, but decongestants and ibuprofen/acetaminophen can provide symptomatic relief until your body clears the infection. Some people such as the very young, the elderly, pregnant woman, and those with certain chronic medical conditions may benefit from an antiviral medication such as Tamiflu that helps fight the virus that causes the flu.

If you do get sick this year be sure to take care of yourself and seek medical attention if your develop chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, confusion, severe vomiting, persistent or worsening symptoms.

Keep those hands washed, get your flu shot and hopefully you will have a healthy winter!

Author: Dr. Garrett Bomba, Medical Director- ExpressCare