Colds and Flu

How To Treat Colds and Flu
FDA article source: http://www.fda.gov/opacom/lowlit/clds&flu.html

Every year a large number of people become sick with colds and flu. To many people these two common illnesses may seem the same. However, they are very different. Knowing the difference between colds and flu can help you be more successful in taking the action necessary to treat these illnesses.

In an online article on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website (http://www.fda.gov/opacom/lowlit/clds&flu.html), the FDA suggests the following regarding the difference between treating colds and the flu.

"Is It a Cold or the Flu? For Your Safety, Know the Difference

A cold and the flu (also called influenza) are alike in many ways. But the flu can sometimes lead to more serious problems, like the lung disease pneumonia. A stuffy nose, sore throat, and sneezing are usually signs of a cold. Tiredness, fever, headache, and major aches and pains probably mean you have the flu. Coughing can be a sign of either a cold or the flu. But a bad cough usually points to the flu."

Knowing when to call a physician is also an important part of properly treating a cold or flu. In the same article the FDA also suggests the following.

"Know When to Call Your Doctor

You usually do not have to call your doctor right away if you have signs of a cold or flu. But you should call your doctor in these situations: Your symptoms get worse. Your symptoms last a long time. After feeling a little better, you develop signs of a more serious problem. Some of these signs are a sick-to- your-stomach feeling, vomiting, high fever, shaking chills, chest pain, or coughing with thick, yellow-green mucus."

The FDA also makes a few suggestions that may help you feel better during a cold or flu. In their article they state the following.

"Help Yourself Feel Better While You Are Sick

A cold usually lasts only a couple of days to a week. Tiredness from the flu may continue for several weeks. To feel better while you are sick: Drink plenty of fluids. Get plenty of rest. Use a humidifier–an electric device that puts water into the air. A cough and cold medicine you buy without a prescription may help."

So if you find yourself suffering from a cold or flu this season, be sure to rest, take care of yourself and to call your doctor if you have any questions regarding a cold or flu symptom that concerns you. Remember only a physician can give you proper advice in dealing with a cold or flu. To read more of the FDA article quoted in this story, please link to the URL in the reference below.


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