For more information call: (614) 448-4055 or email info@centersite.net

What to Do for Colds and Flu

Colds and 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.

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 feelin...More

Fast Facts: Learn! Fast!

How can I tell if I have a cold or the flu?

  • 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.

For more information

What types of influenza ("flu") are there?

  • Seasonal (or common) flu is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted person to person. Most people have some immunity, and a vaccine is available.
  • Novel H1N1 flu is a newer influenza virus causing illness in people. This new virus was first detected in the U.S. in April 2009, and has spread to many countries around the world.
  • Bird flu is commonly used to refer to Avian flu (see below). Bird flu viruses infect birds, including chickens, other poultry and wild birds such as ducks.
  • Avian flu (AI) is caused by influenza viruses that occur naturally among wild birds. Highly pathogenic H5N1 is deadly to domestic fowl, can be transmitted from birds to humans, and is deadly to humans. There is virtually no human immunity and human vaccine availability is very limited.
  • Pandemic flu is virulent human flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness. Because there is little natural immunity, the disease can spread easily from person to person.

For more information

What are the symptoms of the flu and how should it be treated?

  • Influenza usually starts suddenly and may include the following symptoms:
    • fever (usually high)
    • headache
    • tiredness (can be extreme)
    • cough
    • sore throat
    • runny or stuffy nose
    • body aches
    • diarrhea and vomiting (more common among children than adults).
  • The single best way to protect yourself and others against influenza is to get a flu vaccination each year.
  • Your doctor may recommend use of an antiviral medication to help treat the flu. Four antiviral drugs (amantadine, rimantadine, zanamavir, and oseltamivir) are approved for treatment of the flu.
  • If you get the flu, get plenty of rest, drink a lot of liquids, and avoid using alcohol and tobacco.
  • Also, you can take medications such as acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol®) to relieve the fever and muscle aches associated with the flu. Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever.

For more information 

What are the symptoms of a cold and how it should it be treated?

  • Although the common cold is usually mild, it is a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from school and work.
  • More than 200 different viruses are known to cause the symptoms of the common cold.
  • Symptoms of the common cold usually begin 2 to 3 days after infection and often include:
    • mucus buildup in your nose
    • difficulty breathing through your nose
    • swelling of your sinuses
    • sneezing
    • sore throat
    • cough
    • headache
    • fever that is usually slight but can climb to 102 degrees Fahrenheit in infants and young children.
  • Cold symptoms can last from 2 to 14 days, but like most people, you'll probably recover in a week. If symptoms occur often or last much longer than 2 weeks, you might have an allergy rather than a cold.
  • There is no cure for the common cold, but you can get relief from your cold symptoms by resting in bed, drinking plenty of fluids, gargling with warm salt water or using throat sprays or lozenges for a scratchy or sore throat, using petroleum jelly for a raw nose, and taking aspirin or acetaminophen for headache or fever.

For more information


News Articles

  • AHA News: Flu Prevention Strategies Beyond Getting a Shot and Washing Your Hands

    It's cold and flu season, and the usual advice is being dispensed: Get the influenza vaccine, wash your hands regularly and avoid contact with anyone who's already sick. More...

  • Flu Season Starting to Ramp Up in the South

    Whether you have caught the flu yet this season might depend on where you live. More...

  • One-Third of Heart Patients Skip Their Flu Shot

    It seems like a no brainer: The flu shot protects heart patients from illness and death, so getting one should be the first thing they do every year before the season starts. More...

  • AHA News: Flu Shot May Aid Heart Bypass Recovery

    Getting a flu shot before heart bypass surgery can head off inflammation throughout the body and possibly lead to a healthier recovery, a new study suggests. More...

  • Health Tip: Cold, Flu or Allergy?

    Determining if you have a cold, the flu or an allergy can be difficult when you're having common symptoms, such as sneezing or a sore throat. More...

  • 37 More
    • New Drug on the Horizon for Flu's Ills?

      Flu sufferers may soon have a new antiviral drug on hand to ease their fever, chills and body aches. More...

    • Get Vaccinated Before Flu Takes Hold: CDC

      If Australia was any indication, the flu season here will arrive early, so get your flu shot now, U.S. health officials said Thursday. More...

    • Flu Season Is Coming: Here's How to Protect Yourself

      If you don't want to be one of the 40 million Americans who get the flu each year, it's time to roll up your sleeve. More...

    • Health Tip: Seasonal Flu Vaccine Fast Facts

      Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and death, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More...

    • Only Thing Certain About Flu Season: You Need to Get Your Shot

      Although no one knows yet how severe this flu season will be, now is the time to get vaccinated, health officials say. More...

    • Got High Blood Pressure? Get Your Flu Shot

      If you have high blood pressure, getting a flu shot could save your life, researchers say. More...

    • Aging Narrows Gender Gap in Flu Vaccine Response

      Here's some bad news for older women during flu season: Aging reduces the stronger immune response that women typically have to vaccination, a new study finds. More...

    • Flu Vaccine Safe During Pregnancy

      Pregnant women can take comfort in new findings that suggest flu vaccines won't harm their fetuses. More...

    • Many Health Care Workers With Flu, Colds Still Go to Work: Study

      Many health care workers are still on the job even if they have symptoms of a cold, flu or other respiratory infection, putting patients and coworkers at risk, a new study finds. More...

    • Vaping Habit Might Make You More Prone to Flu

      Steering clear of folks who are coughing and sneezing is one way to prevent catching the flu. Avoiding e-cigarettes may be another, new research suggests. More...

    • Drier Winter Air May Propel Flu's Spread

      That dry air your heating system sends throughout your home in the winter weakens your immune system, making you a prime target for viral infection. More...

    • 'Two Wave' Flu Season Unusually Long: CDC

      What looked like a mild flu season in December has turned into the longest flu season in five years, U.S. health officials report. More...

    • Do Hospitals Have Flu's Spread Under Control?

      Many hospital workers and patients spread the flu before they show any symptoms, a new study says. More...

    • U.S. Flu Season Ebbing, but Cases Still Widespread: CDC

      Though flu season has probably peaked, beware: Influenza is still widespread in much of the United States, federal health officials said Friday. More...

    • Heart Failure Hospitalizations Spike When Flu Season Peaks

      Weakened hearts grow weaker and fail when influenza rages throughout the land, a new study reports. More...

    • Reworked Nasal Flu Vaccine Looks Good for Kids, Pediatricians' Group Says

      Good news for kids: Next flu season, you can avoid a painful needle jab and get the nasal vaccine spray instead, according to a leading U.S. pediatricians' group. More...

    • Health Tip: Protecting Children from the Flu

      Flu season is in full swing. Thousands of children under the age of 5 have been hospitalized for the flu in the last decade, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. More...

    • More Severe Strain of Flu Starting to Spread Widely: CDC

      Americans aren't out of the woods yet, as the flu season continues to spread across the country, health officials reported Friday. More...

    • Flu Shot Much More Effective This Year, CDC Says

      This year's flu shot is already outperforming the vaccine issued during the tough 2017-2018 influenza season, federal health officials reported Thursday. More...

    • Got the Flu? You Probably Shouldn't Head to the ER

      Flu season is reaching its peak in the United States, which means emergency departments could fast become crowded with people who really aren't sick enough to be there. More...

    • How to Decide When You're Too Sick to Work

      Even if you think you can go to work when you have a cold or flu, you need to think about others, an infectious disease expert says. More...

    • Flu Season Far From Over, CDC Says

      Though much of the United States is in the grip of the flu, the season hasn't peaked yet, health officials said Friday. More...

    • Flu May Up the Odds of Stroke, Neck Artery Tears

      Flu can make you deathly ill, but it could also trigger a stroke or a rupture in your neck arteries, two new studies suggest. More...

    • Flu May Be a Factor in Many Kidney Failure Deaths

      Seasonal flu and other respiratory infections may be especially dangerous for kidney failure patients, researchers say. More...

    • Many Parents Wrong About What Prevents Colds in Kids

      No parent wants to see their child catch a cold, but some take prevention measures that have little basis in science, a new survey shows. More...

    • AHA: Taking Medicine for a Cold? Be Mindful of Your Heart

      But before you do, you need to consider how some over-the-counter cold medicines may impact your heart. More...

    • How Getting a Flu Shot Could Save Your Life

      It's not too late to get your flu shot, which can protect you in ways that may surprise you. More...

    • U.S. Flu Cases Hit 7 Million Mark: CDC

      The flu season is picking up steam, with about 7 million Americans having been struck by a strain of the flu virus, health officials said Friday. More...

    • Changes to Flu Shot Supply Chain Could Save Lives: Study

      Problems with flu vaccine distribution in the United States may cost lives and pose a serious threat in the event of a flu pandemic, researchers warn. More...

    • Mom-to-Be's Flu Can Harm Her Unborn Baby

      Pregnant women who get a flu shot protect not only themselves, but also their developing baby, health officials report. More...

    • Getting Flu Shot During Hospital Stay Is a Safe Bet

      Many doctors may worry about giving their hospital patients a flu shot, but a new study suggests they can relax. More...

    • Flu Shot Crucial for Those With COPD

      If you suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a flu shot can be a lifesaver. But many of the millions with the lung condition don't get it, researchers report. More...

    • Flu Widening Its Grip on the United States: CDC

      The flu is now spreading throughout the United States, health officials said Friday. More...

    • Health Tip: Getting the Flu If You Have Cancer

      If you have had cancer, you are at a higher risk for developing flu-related complications, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. More...

    • Flu Rides the Subway, Too

      Flu spreads like wildfire in confined spaces -- and that includes subways, a new British study finds. More...

    • Flu Has Arrived for the Holidays, CDC Head Says

      The flu has ramped up in time for Christmas, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday. More...

    • U.S. Flu Activity Low Right Now, but Rising: CDC

      Flu season is getting off to a slow but steady start, a U.S. health official said Friday. More...

Resources