Is it a cold or the flu?
Are you or yours feeling under the weather? This time of year the big question is "is it a cold or the flu". Well listen up, because one is way worse than the other, and we're here to clue you in on what to do.
If you felt the sickness creeping up on you, and develop over a few days, it's probably just a cold.
Also, symptoms like a sore throat, stuffy nose, constant sneezing and coughing are all signs that point to the common cold.
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However, if the illness seemed to drop on you like a sack of bricks, almost overnight and you have more severe symptoms like a fever, achy body, and fatigue (on top of all that other stuff), you could have the flu.
If that proves to be the case, you should take it seriously. The flu is responsible for thousands of deaths each year and can actually develop into pneumonia, so if you notice a shortness of breath, let your doctor know right away.
Speaking of the doctor, they're practically the only people who can tell you for sure if you have the flu or not. The have a test that is 99 percent accurate. And by visiting the doctors office, you can get prescriptions for things like Tamiflu or Relenza. These medicines do not cure the flu, but can treat the symptoms and may even decrease the time you have the virus.
Speaking of viruses, they cannot be treated with antibiotics. If you have a cold, or the flu, it's a virus. Antibiotics won't do anything for them. They only fight bacteria, not viruses.
In any case, if you feel ultra gross, see your doctor.
If you're perfectly healthy, make sure you wash your hands, especially around sick people, and get your flu shot. The vaccine won't give you the flu -- you can get it practically anywhere -- and it's the only thing that can prevent getting the flu virus if you do get exposed to it.
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