Your body is aching, you’ve got a sore throat, and now you’re running a fever. Is this a cold? Or could it be the flu?
The common cold and the flu are respiratory illnesses with many similar symptoms. Colds are usually more mild and do not result in serious health problems, while influenza can lead to serious and even life-threatening complications.
The only way to know if you’re suffering from a cold or the flu is a rapid flu test. Get tested today at Range Urgent Care! We can help diagnose your symptoms, and provide the treatment you need to start feeling better.
Cold and Flu Basics
While over 200 viruses can cause a cold, the rhinovirus is most often the culprit. Symptoms of the common cold are generally mild, last from 7-10 days, and include:
- Sore Throat
- Runny or Stuffy Nose
- Body Aches
- Watery eyes
Cold infections can happen any time of the year, and are spread through the air and close personal contact. There is no cure for a cold. The best medicine is lots of rest and plenty of fluids.
To reduce your risk of catching a cold, wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, and stay away from people who are sick.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that is caused by influenza viruses. It occurs seasonally (October through May), and is spread through droplets when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Flu symptoms can be mild to severe, and include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
Young children, adults over 65, pregnant women and people with certain chronic illnesses are all at a higher risk of developing serious complications from the flu. The best way to protect ourselves, and those more vulnerable, is to get an annual flu shot!
If you do come down with the flu, our providers can prescribe an antiviral medication proven to lessen the severity and duration of your illness. When taken promptly, antivirals can reduce the time you are sick by 1-2 days and also prevent serious complications, such as pneumonia.