It is that time of year, Cold and Flu Season!

Common Colds are the main reason that Children miss School and Adults miss Work. Each year in the United States, there are millions of cases of the Common Cold. Adults have an average of 2-3 Colds per year, and Children have even more. Most people get Colds in the Winter and Spring, but it is possible to get a Cold any time of the year.

An estimated 80,000 People died of the Flu and Complications arising from the Virus last winter, making it the deadliest Flu Season in at least 40 years according to the CDC!

Know the Difference between Common Cold and Flu

The Flu, which is caused by Influenza Viruses, also spreads and causes Illness around the same time as the Common Cold. Because these two Illnesses have similar Symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on Symptoms alone. In general, Flu Symptoms are worse than the Common Cold and can include Fever or feeling Feverish/Chills, Cough, Sore Throat, Runny or Stuffy Nose, Muscle or Body Aches, Headaches and Fatigue (tiredness). Flu can also have very Serious Complications! The CDC recommends a yearly Flu Vaccination as the first and best way to Prevent the Flu. If you get the Flu, Antiviral drugs may be a treatment option?

Common Cold Symptoms usually include:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Body aches

Most people recover within about 7-10 days. However, people with weak Immune Systems, Asthma, or Respiratory Conditions may develop Serious Illness, such as Bronchitis or Pneumonia.

Flu Symptom Usually include…

  • Fever
  • Body Aches
  • Fatigue

Your Medical Provider can determine if you are Positive for the Flu with a Simple Test in their Office.  If you are Positive for the Flu your Medical Provider will explain the difference in Treatment from a Cold and may Prescribe certain Medication like (Tamiflu).


How to Protect Yourself

  • Help reduce your risk of getting a Cold or Flu by Washing Hands often with soap and water.
  • Practice good Cough and Sneeze etiquette: always cough and sneeze into a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose.
  • Get your Flu Shot!

Viruses that cause Colds and Flu can spread from infected people to others through the air and close personal contact. This can happen when you shake hands with someone who has a cold, or touch a surface, like a doorknob, that has respiratory viruses on it, then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose, etc…

You can help reduce your risk of getting a Cold or the Flu:

  • Wash your Hands often with Soap and Water and help young children do the same. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Viruses that cause Colds and Flu can live on your hands, and regular handwashing can help protect you from getting sick.
  • Avoid Touching your Eyes, Nose, and Mouth with unwashed hands. Viruses that cause Colds and Flu can enter your body this way.
  • Stay away from people who are sick. Sick people can spread viruses that cause the common cold through close contact with others.  Many Viruses are Airborne and can be spread though Coughing and Sneezing or Close Personal Contact.


How to Protect Others

If you have a Cold or the Flu, you should follow these tips to help prevent spreading it to others:

  • Stay at home while you are sick
  • Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, or shaking hands
  • Move away from people before coughing or sneezing
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue then throw it away, or cough and sneeze into your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose
  • Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and objects such as toys and doorknobs

There is no vaccine to protect you against the Common Cold.  However, Flu Shots are available and we highly recommend you get the Vaccine.


 How to Feel Better

There is no cure for a Cold or the Flu. To feel better, you should get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Over-the-counter medicines may help ease symptoms but will not make your Cold or Flu go away any faster. Always read the label and use medications as directed. Talk to your doctor before giving your child nonprescription cold medicines, since some medicines contain ingredients that are not recommended for children.

Antibiotics will not help you recover from a Cold or Flu caused by a Virus. They do not work against Viruses, and they may make it harder for your body to fight future bacterial infections if you take them unnecessarily.


When to See a Doctor

You should call your Medical Provider if you or your child has one or more of these conditions:

  • Symptoms that last more than 10 days
  • Symptoms that are severe or unusual
  • If your child is younger than 3 months of age and has a fever or is lethargic
  • If you have a Fever that is not controlled by Over the Counter Medications

You should also call your Medical Provider right away if you are at high risk for Serious Flu Complications and have Flu Symptoms such as Fever, Chills, and Muscle or Body Aches. People at high risk for Flu Complications include young Children (younger than 5 years old), Adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as Asthma, Diabetes and Heart Disease.

Your Medical Provider can determine if you or your Child has a Cold or the Flu and can recommend treatment to help with symptoms.


Discover the caring, convenient, comprehensive and cost-efficient treatment that can always be found at Palm Bay Urgent Care!  We are open seven days a week, Mon.  –  Sat., 9a  –  7p and Sun. 10a  –  5p, No Appointment needed, Walk-ins welcomed!  Come in or Call Today!  (321) 723-3627