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How do I know if I have the Common Cold or the Flu?

posted Nov 3, 2014, 2:44 PM by Almohajer Aljadeed
By: Rocco D’Angelo

Many of you will likely experience a Cold or the Flu during this winter season. There are certain symptoms unique to the Common Cold and the Flu. If you are experiencing the Common Cold you likely have a runny nose with clear mucous at the start of your cold that changes to a yellow-greenish colour towards the end. You may also have a stuffy nose. You may also have a mild sore throat and a mild to moderate dry cough. Your cough may become productive, meaning that you are coughing up mucous as your cold progresses. Your cold usually lasts 5 to 7 days but may last up to 2 weeks. 
If you have the Flu, you will be experiencing some similar symptoms as a cold but with some differences. You will likely have a runny nose without any congestion. You may have a sore throat and will likely have a dry cough. With the Flu, you will have a fever, body/headaches and will also feel very tired. Your symptoms will last for 10 days.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for the Common Cold or the Flu. Once you catch the virus you’ll be stuck with it until it runs its course. However, there are medications that can be used to treat the symptoms and help you feel better. Your Pharmacist can provide you with medications to treat these symptoms. There are certain things you can do to prevent catching the Common Cold or Flu. Hand-washing is one of the most important and effective prevention methods. Always wash your hands after touching door handles, public telephones etc. You should also carry around a bottle of alcohol sanitizer to use after you wash your hands or if you cannot get to a washroom.  The most effective way of NOT catching the Flu is to get your Flu shot. Although you may hear that the flu shot will actually make you sick (there is a small percentage of people that do experience this), the flu shot works. It is safe and effective. Speak with your pharmacist if you have questions regarding the Flu shot. If you already have a cold or the Flu, make sure you take precautions to prevent spreading.  Use the same precautions as you would to PREVENT catching a cold or flu. Sneeze and cough into your sleeve or elbow. Avoid public places so take a sick day from school or work. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of water.