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Cold vs. Flu

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DoctorThis time of year, we typically see an increase of students that are out ill. Many have symptoms of cold or flu, which are respiratory illnesses that are commonly treated in the winter. Often, it can be hard to tell which may affect your child. Per the CDC, influenza tends to be much more worrisome than a cold – it is usually much more severe. The chart below can help you determine cold versus flu.

Fever Rare Typically High, Over 100, & Lasting 3-4 Days
Headache Rare Prominent
General Aches, Pains Slight Usual; Often Severe
Fatigue, Weakness Quite Mild Can Last Up To 2-3 Weeks
Extreme Exhaustion Never Early & Prominent
Stuffy Nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Chest Discomfort/Cough Hacking Cough Common; Can Become Severe
Complications Congestion, Ear Ache Bronchitis, Pneumonia; Can Be Life-Threatening
Prevention Good Hygiene Annual Flu Shot or Flu Mist
Treatment Temporary Relief of Symptoms, i.e. OTC Meds Antiviral Medications (Tamiflu or Relenza) Within 24-48 Hours of Onset, Encourage Fluids and Rest, Contact a Physician if Symptoms are Severe


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