Cold & Flu Season Information
by Jai Garg
The common cold and the seasonal flu both occur during the winter months, with the worst outbreaks occurring during January and February. Both the cold and the seasonal flu are caused by viruses, but the symptoms associated with the flu are much more severe.
The cold is the most mentioned reason for doctor's visits in the United States. Unlike the flu, the cold has milder symptoms. Usually the first sign of the cold is a sore throat, which usually dissipates after two days. Other symptoms include a runny nose, cough, and congestion. These symptoms usually last about four to five days. According to the Mayo Clinic, "Most adults are likely to have a common cold two to four times a year. Children, especially preschoolers, may have a common cold as many as six to 10 times annually."
Cold prevention and treatment
The best way to avoid getting a cold is by not getting in contact with other people who have one. It is important to wash your hands and use good hygiene. Since the cold can be caused by so many different viruses, the best treatment usually revolves around the symptoms you have---cough drops, cold medicine, decongestants etc.
The seasonal flu usually lasts from the end of fall to start of spring and is associated with more severe symptoms than the cold. Symptoms of the seasonal flu include, an unusually high fever, body aches and pains, decreased appetite, and chills. The flu can cause the onset of worse symptoms such as bronchitis. It can last anywhere from one to three weeks.
Seasonal Flu prevention and treatments
In order to prevent seasonal flu it is best not to come in contact with those who have it. Also, if available it is always beneficial to get the seasonal flu shot, which will dramatically decrease the odds of getting the flu. Once you have the flu, you can get Tamiflu from the doctor. When you have the flu, it is always important to plenty of rest order to prevent further complications.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "A poor diet and poor sleep both lower your immunity and make you more vulnerable to infections." By eating healthy foods, drinking enough fluids, and keeping your body in good shape you will decrease your odds of staving off the flu or the cold.