Catching a cold or the flu this time of year is common due to close contact with others, busy schedules and stress. In general, flu symptoms come on quickly and are more severe than the common cold. The outline below can be used as a guideline to help determine whether you are experiencing a cold or the flu.
Fever – Fever is rare with a cold, or mild if present
Coughing – A hacking, mucous producing cough is usually present
Body Aches – Slight body aches and occasional weakness may be present
Stuffy Nose – Stuffy nose is common with a cold and usually resolves within a week
Sore Throat – Sore throat is common with a cold
Weakness – Weakness and tiredness not present or mild with a cold
Headache – A headache is not common with the cold
Chest Discomfort – Mild to moderate chest discomfort may be common with a cold
Fever – Fever and chills are present in 80% of flu cases. A temperature of 100 degrees F or higher for 3 to 4 days is common with the flu
Coughing – A non-productive (no mucous) cough is usually present with the flu
Body Aches – Severe aches and pains are common with the flu
Stuffy Nose – Stuffy nose is not usually present with the flu
Sore Throat – Sore throat is not usually present with the flu
Weakness – Weakness and tiredness are moderate to severe and they may last 2-3 weeks
Headache – Headaches are common in 80% of all flu cases
Chest Discomfort – Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu
Washing your hands often with soap and water and avoiding close contact with infected people are the best ways to prevent getting sick. Getting a flu shot is also recommended to protect yourself against the flu. If you do get sick, get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and take over the counter medication such as antihistamines, decongestants, antiviral drugs or pain and fever reducers. Call your doctor if you develop any severe symptoms like running a fever of 102 degrees F or higher, have trouble breathing or symptoms worsen. Source: www.cdc.gov/flu Sensia can assist your organization with any of these workplace health initiatives.
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