Seasonal Cold & Flu – What You Need to Know

Cold & Flu – Not the Same

  • A cold and the flu carry similar symptoms, but they differ in severity, treatment, and prevention
  • Catching a cold is usually a more gradual process, while contracting the flu is much more abrupt
  • A cold and the flu ARE, however, both transmitted the same way (from person to person)
  • The symptoms of the flu (especially body aches and fatigue) are much more severe than symptoms of a cold
  • There is not a vaccine for the common cold, but there are over-the-counter medications to lessen symptoms

Prevent the Spread of Germs

  • Try to limit contact with others while you’re sick and avoid close contact with sick people
  • If you have a flu-like virus, stay home for 24 hours after your fever is gone (except to get medical care, or for other emergencies)
  • Wash your hands often and disinfect surfaces that may be contaminated with germs like the flu
  • Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose

Get a Flu Vaccine!

  • The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine to protect yourself and others from flu viruses
  • There are many different flu viruses, but each annual vaccine protects from the viruses that researchers believe will be the most common
  • Even if a vaccine doesn’t prevent you from contracting a flu virus, it will most likely lessen symptoms
  • Children under 6 months are too young to be vaccinated, so it is even more important for their caregivers to get a shot themselves
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