The typical cold and flu may look same. Respiratory infections might share symptoms. A separate virus causes these two illnesses.
Your symptoms can distinguish them.
Both colds and flu have similar symptoms. Patients with either disease commonly observe:
- nasal congestion
- body aches
- general tiredness
- In general, flu symptoms are worse than cold symptoms.
Seriousness distinguishes the two. Colds seldom create additional health issues. The flu can cause:
- ear infections
If your symptoms are severe, check for a cold or flu. Your doctor will order tests to diagnose your symptoms.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, phone ahead for medical visit or online visit procedure.
symptoms overlap with cold and flu symptoms, so treat them carefully.
The virus will run its course if your doctor diagnoses a cold. Treatments may include:
- taking OTC cold meds
- keeping hydrated
- getting enough rest
Starting flu medication early in the viral cycle may lessen disease intensity and duration. Flu patients benefit from rest and fluids.
Flu symptoms can take longer to appear, like a cold.
What are flu symptoms?
Common flu symptoms include:
The flu usually raises body temperature. Also called fever.
A low-grade temperature around 100°F (37.8°C) to 104°F (40°C) is typical with flu.
Though scary, young children often experience greater fevers than adults. If you think your kid has flu, visit a doctor.
An high temperature might cause “feverish” symptoms. Signs include chills, sweating, or feeling chilly despite a high body temperature. Fever normally lasts 3–4 days.
A dry, persistent cough is typical with flu. Your cough may get worse and hurt.
You may have chest pain or shortness of breath. Many flu-related coughs linger 2 weeks.
Most flu-related muscle symptoms are in the neck, back, arms, and legs. The severity of them might make it hard to move even for routine duties.
Your first flu symptom may be a terrible headache. Symptoms like light and sound sensitivity often accompany headaches.
One of the flu’s less visible symptoms is fatigue. General malaise can indicate several disorders. Fatigue may strike quickly and be hard to overcome.
Discover flu symptoms.
Flu shot: Facts
Many people get sick from influenza each year. You can get really ill with the flu regardless of age or immune system. The flu may infect healthy people and spread to others.
Some flu strains are dangerous. Most flu-related fatalities occur in those 65 and older, but children and young adults can die.
Flu vaccinations are the most effective strategy to avoid and prevent the flu.
The flu vaccination comes in these forms:
- injectable shot
- high-dose injectable shot (65+)
- skin injection
- nasal spray
As more individuals get flu shots, the virus spreads less. Herd immunity protects people who cannot obtain the vaccination for medical reasons.
If you acquire the flu, vaccination can reduce its severity.
How does flu shot work?
Scientists choose the flu types predicted to be most prevalent during flu season to produce the vaccine. Produce and distribute millions of vaccinations using those strains.
After receiving the vaccination, your body produces antibodies against certain viral strains. These antibodies offer viral defiance.
In case of later flu contact, you can prevent it.
If you contract a different viral strain, you may get ill. Due to immunization, symptoms will be milder.
Who should receive flu shots?
Doctors prescribe the flu vaccination for everyone over 6 months Trusted Source. Particularly for high-risk groups Trusted Source like:
- pregnant women
- children under 5
- Aspirin-treated children under 18
- individuals 65+
- persons with 40+ BMI
- employees or residents of nursing homes or chronic care facilities
- carers for any of
- Native Americans or Alaskans
- anybody with chronic illnesses
Most physicians recommend getting the flu shot by October. This gives your body time to develop antibodies before flu season.
You may still receive the flu vaccination after October 31. Getting the flu vaccination is always useful, even late in the season.
Flu antibodies develop about 2 weeks following immunization.
The CDC expects flu and COVID-19 to spread this year. Therefore, the vaccination will be more necessary than ever.
Learn about flu shots’ value.
Flu shot side effects
Many individuals forgo the flu shot every year for fear of becoming sick. Remember that the flu vaccination cannot cause flu.
You won’t get ill from the immunization. Flu vaccinations contain dead virus. These strains aren’t contagious.
Flu injections can have negative effects like other shots. These adverse effects are usually moderate and short-lived. The flu shot’s negative effects outweigh the later symptoms.
Flu shot side effects most often include:
- injection site pain
- low-grade fever shortly after injection
- minor pain and stiffness
Side effects seldom last more than a day or two. Many will have no negative effects.
The immunization may cause severe adverse reactions in rare cases. Consult your doctor if you’ve experienced a vaccination or medicine allergy.
Learn about flu shot side effects.
How long is the flu?
Flu recovery takes around a week for most individuals. But it may take several days to feel normal again. You may feel weary for days after your flu symptoms disappear.
Stay home from school or work until you’ve been fever-free for 24 hours (without medicine).
You can spread the flu a day before symptoms begin and 5–7 days later.
The COVID-19 pandemic requires isolation and adequate cleanliness if you have cold or flu symptoms.
- cleaning hands
- disinfecting high-touch areas
- Covering your face
- shunning others
- Flu treatment alternatives
- Most flu cases are mild enough to treat at home without medicine.
When you have flu symptoms, remain inside and avoid people.
You should also:
- Hydrate well. This includes soup, water, and low-sugar beverages.
- Treat fever and headache with OTC drugs.
- Wash your hands to avoid spreading the virus to surfaces and people in your home.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues. Discard the tissues immediately.
- Cover your face in public.
- Call a doctor if symptoms worsen. They may prescribe antivirals. The sooner you take this
- drug, the better it works. After symptoms appear, start therapy within 48 hours.
If you’re at risk for flu complications, see a doctor immediately.
High-risk groups are:
persons with poor immune systems
- pregnant or 2 weeks postpartum ladies
- individuals over 65
- children under 5 (especially under 2)
- folks in nursing homes or chronic care facilities
- People with chronic diseases like heart or lung illness
- Native Americans (American Indian or Alaska Native)
Your doctor may immediately test for flu. They may also prescribe an antiviral to avoid problems.
When is flu season?
The US flu season runs from October to March. The CDCTrusted Source reports peak flu cases in December and February. Flu can strike at any time.
Fall and winter bring greater illness. Because you’re in close quarters with others and exposed to many diseases.
Having another virus increases your risk of getting the flu. Other illnesses might weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to new ones.
Treating flu symptoms
The flu is awful. Many flu cures relieve symptoms.
Consider these flu treatments:
Pain killers. Reducing symptoms with acetaminophen and ibuprofen is common. These include fever, headache, and muscular soreness.
Decongestants. This drug relieves sinus and ear pressure and nasal congestion. Each decongestant has side effects, so check labels to pick the best one.
Expectorants. This drug loosens viscous nasal secretions that cause coughing and congestion.
Cough suppressants. Some flu treatments ease coughing. Some cough drops utilise honey and lemon to relieve a sore throat and cough without prescription.
Avoid mixing drugs. Use of unneeded medicine may create adverse effects. Medications should target your main symptoms.
Rest well for now. You need to rest your body as it fights the illness. Call in ill, stay home, and recover. Don’t work or school with a fever.
Drink lots of fluids. Soup, low-sugar sports drinks, and water can hydrate you. Warm liquids like soup and tea relieve sore throat discomfort.
Flu symptoms in adults
Flu-related fever in adults can be severe. A rapid high temperature is the first flu sign for many individuals. It may indicate COVID-19.
Adults rarely have fevers unless they have a severe illness. Flu viruses generate sudden high temperatures above 100°F (37.8°C).
Colds and other viral diseases can generate low-grade fevers.
Additionally, toddlers and adults have similar symptoms. A few people may have more symptoms than others. Each person is unique.
The flu’s incubation period?
The flu typically incubates for 1–4 days. Incubation is when the virus develops in your body.
Virus symptoms may not appear at this period. You may still give it to someone else. Many people might spread the virus a day before symptoms show.
Sneezing, coughing, and talking transmit the flu virus by millions of small droplets. Droplets enter through your nose, mouth, or eyes.
You can potentially catch the flu by contacting a virus-infected surface and then your nose, mouth, or eyes.
Does the 24-hour flu exist?
The “24-hour flu” (or gastroenteritis) is a frequent gastrointestinal ailment unrelated to influenza. Norovirus causes 24-hour stomach flu.
Norovirus symptoms include:
- stomach pain
These are gastrointestinal symptoms. Also known as the “stomach flu,” the 24-hour flu can last up to three days.
The 24-hour flu and flu symptoms differ. Flu is a respiratory infection. Flu symptoms in the respiratory system:
- runny nose
- body aches
Influenza can cause nausea and vomiting. In adults, these symptoms are rarer.
Is flu contagious?
A flu patient can spread the virus to others.
Many people might transfer the virus a day before symptoms appear. You may spread the illness before you realise you’re sick.
You may spread the infection 5–7 days after symptoms start. The virus can spread in young children for more than 7 days after symptoms develop.
Virus symptoms may last longer in those with weak immune systems.
Stay home if you have flu symptoms. Help stop the infection from spreading. If diagnosed, notify anybody you saw the day before your symptoms manifested.
Learn about flu contagiousness.
Droplets spread influenza (the flu) to others. Virus development begins there.
Each year, the flu sweeps across America. A 2018 CDC studyTrusted Source revealed that 3–11% of Americans get the flu. This covers symptomatic persons.
The flu season peaks in February in winter. You may get the flu year-round.
Many flu strains exist. Doctors and researchers choose the most frequent viral types each year.
They make vaccines from those strains. A flu vaccination is one of the easiest and most efficient flu prevention methods.
Is there flu medication?
Antiviral medicines cure flu. Pharmacy sells these drugs only via prescription. You need a prescription from a doctor to get them.
Antiviral flu drugs can reduce symptoms. They can also cut flu duration by two days.
Antiviral drugs may assist with the flu, but they have adverse effects. Consult your doctor about dangers.
Antivirals perform best when taken within 48 hours of symptoms, according to research. Don’t worry about missing that window. You may benefit from taking the drug later.
This is especially true for high-risk or unwell people. Antiviral drugs may prevent flu complications. It includes pneumonia and various illnesses.
Early flu symptoms
Flu symptoms occur swiftly. The flu’s initial sign is usually abrupt onset. Like a cold, symptoms might take days to appear.
Early flu symptoms include broad pain. Early symptoms of the flu include bodily aches.
Get up from bed may be tough and slow. Flu symptoms may start with this.
After this, further flu symptoms may arise, confirming your infection.
Learn about early flu symptoms.
Do natural flu cures exist?
The illness usually goes gone in a week if untreated. Several treatments can help manage discomfort during that time.
Prescription antivirals can lower infection severity. They can also abbreviate it. OTC remedies may also help.
Natural flu cures may help mitigate symptoms. Options for sore throats and coughs include:
- warm tea
- warm soup
- Recovering from the flu or other viruses requires rest.
Your body is struggling to heal. Stop, relax, and sleep to boost your immune system against the illness.
OTC flu medication options
While OTC flu medications can ease symptoms, they cannot treat illness. Consider these flu medications for symptom relief:
Decongestants. Nose decongestants break up nasal mucous. You can blow your nose. Oral and nasal decongestants are available.
Cough suppressants. Nighttime coughing is a frequent flu symptom. OTC cough medications reduce or suppress coughing. Cough drops and lozenges relieve throat pain and coughing.
Expectorants. If you have plenty of mucus or chest congestion, this drug may help you cough up phlegm.
NyQuil and other OTC “flu medicines” include many of these medications.
Avoid taking additional drugs with these combinations. This prevents overdosing on any medicine.
What causes flu?
Flu viruses propagate in several ways. If someone around you has the flu and sneezes, coughs, or speaks, you can catch it.
The virus may survive on inanimate items for 2–8 hours. You may receive the virus if someone with the infection touched a door handle or keyboard and you did too.
Touching your lips, eyes, or nose can spread the infection from your hand.
Flu vaccines are available. The yearly flu vaccine prepares your body for the virus. However, flu viruses evolve. The flu vaccination is necessary every year, especially around COVID-19.
A flu vaccine activates your immune system to develop antibodies against certain influenza strains. Antibodies prevent infections.
If you contract other strains of the flu after getting the injection, you can get it. Even then, your symptoms may be substantially milder than without the immunisation.
Because influenza viruses share cross-protection, the flu vaccination works against them too.
Find out what causes flu.
Where can I obtain flu shots?
Most doctors’ offices carry vaccines. You may also acquire the immunization at:
- Walk-in clinics
- county or city health departments
The COVID-19 epidemic has stopped numerous flu vaccine clinics at companies and schools. As flu season approaches, open businesses will promote flu shots. Some give vaccine vouchers to promote vaccination.
Try the Vaccine Finder to find a flu shot provider. This page lists companies, phone numbers, and hours.
What to know about the flu shot for kids
Flu affects hundreds of thousands of youngsters annually. Some serious diseases necessitate hospitalization. Some are fatal.
Flu is more dangerous for children than adults. Children under 5 are more likely to need flu therapy.
Infants under 2 are most likely to get severe influenza complications. If your child has asthma or diabetes, the flu may be severe.
See a doctor immediately if your kid has the flu or flu symptoms. Call beforehand for COVID-19 preventive procedure.
The flu vaccine is the greatest approach to protect your kids. Vaccinate kids annually.
Doctors prescribe flu shots for 6-month-olds.
Between 6 months and 8 years, some children may require two doses to protect against the virus. Your youngster may require two vaccines for the first time.
Your youngster may require two flu shots this season if they only had one last season. Ask the doctor how many doses your kid requires.
Infants under 6 months cannot receive flu shots. Vaccinate others around them to protect them. This includes carers and family.