COLD AND FLU MEDICINES
The common cold, including chest cold and head cold, and seasonal flu are caused by viruses.
Use over-the-counter cold medications to relieve symptoms including sore throat, runny nose, congestion, and cough.
Flu symptoms are similar, but include fever, headache and muscle soreness. See a doctor who may prescribe antiviral medications Tamiflu.
Symptoms of a cold can be felt about 1-4 days after catching a cold virus. They start with a burning feeling in the nose or throat, followed by sneezing, a runny nose and a feeling of being tired and unwell.
This is the period when you are most contagious; you can pass the cold to others.
So it’s best to stay home and rest.
For the first few days, the nose teems with watery nasal secretions. Later, these become thicker and yellower or greener.
You may get a mild cough. It won’t get much worse, but it is likely to last into the second week of your illness. If you suffer from chronic bronchitis or asthma, a cold will make it worse.
Because the common cold weakens your immune system, it can increase the risk of a bacterial super infection of your sinuses, inner ear or lungs. Community acquired pneumonias can start as a common cold. If symptoms get worse, rather than better, after 3-7 days, you may have acquired a bacterial infection. These symptoms can also be caused by a cold virus other than a rhinovirus.
Common Flu Symptoms
Unlike cold symptoms, signs of the flu tend to come on suddenly. You might have:
• Fever above 100 F
• Severe aches in your muscles and joints
• Weakness or severe fatigue
• Warm, flushed skin and red, watery eyes
• A headache
• A dry cough
• A sore throat and runny nose
Adults with seasonal flu don’t usually have stomach problems like vomiting or diarrhea, but children sometimes do.
Get medical help right away if you have:
• Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
• Pain or pressure in your chest or belly
• Sudden dizziness
• Severe vomiting
These symptoms can mean your illness is severe. Flu Symptoms vs. Cold Symptoms • Fever. It can last 3 or 4 days with the flu; it’s rare with a cold. • Aches. They might be severe with the flu; they’re mild with a cold. • Chills. You’re likely to have them with the flu, but they’re rare with a cold. • Fatigue. This is common with the flu and happens sometimes with a cold. • Sneezing. You’re more likely to have this with a cold than with the flu.
• Cough and chest discomfort. This is common with both but tends to be severe with the flu. • Stuffy nose. This sometimes happens with the flu but is common with a cold. • Sore throat. This can be common with the flu but is more likely with a cold. • Headache. This is common when you have the flu but rare with a cold.
How to Treat Flu Symptoms
In most cases, the best things to do when you have the flu are:
• Rest at home.
• Drink plenty of fluids.
• Avoid contact with other people.