Colds & Flu


Colds are a part of life. They are usually harmless and get better on their own within a week. But symptoms like coughing, a sore throat or a headache can be bothersome. A common cold is an infection that develops over a few days. It is usually caused by a virus and generally begins with a sore or scratchy throat. Within a few days, more symptoms can start: a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, coughing and a headache. Sometimes people have a mild fever and feel weak too. Even though a cold can make you feel really sick, if you are otherwise healthy, a cold will get a lot better by itself within a week. The worst is usually over within three or four days.


The types of virus that cause colds are basically different from those that cause the flu (influenza). The flu is usually associated with more severe symptoms than a cold. The flu can start quite suddenly, with a high fever, shivering, achy joints and muscle ache. Flu hits faster, harder, and lasts longer than a cold. Antibiotics do not work on a virus.


The best defense against cold and flu season is prevention. Keep your immune system strong. A strong immune systems means that your body can better defend itself against viruses. And if you do get sick, your immune system will be much better prepared to kick off the virus and your symptoms won't last as long.



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