Health Tips - Make Health Happen
It's easy to take steps that will help you avoid catching the flu.
Cold and flu — what’s the difference?
Colds mostly infect the nose and throat, while the flu (short for influenza) infects mainly the lungs. The flu is more serious. It makes you feel “rotten” all over, usually lasting between a few days and a week.
People with a cold often feel tired and have a runny or stuffy nose, mild fever, body aches and dry cough.
The flu often causes the same symptoms. That can make it hard to tell a cold from the flu. But the flu is more intense. It may also include one or more of the following:
- Chills and shaking
- High fever
- Sore throat
- Upset stomach
A cold and flu are both caused by viruses. That means antibiotics won't help cure them.
How do you catch the flu?
The flu is spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. The flu virus can be on things like doorknobs, telephones and faucets. You can catch the flu by touching them and then touching your mouth or nose. Holding hands with or kissing a person who has the virus is another way to become infected.
For some people, the flu can lead to more serious health problems like pneumonia. Adults over 50 and kids under 5 are more likely to develop health problems from the flu. Other people at risk include those with health conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease.
How can I avoid the flu?
The best thing you can do is get a flu shot each fall.
Here are some more tips. Check the ones you’re already in the habit of doing:
¤ I wash my hands often.
¤ I limit close contact with others.
¤ I avoid touching my mouth, eyes or nose unless I just washed my hands.
¤ I get plenty of sleep and exercise.
¤ I manage my stress.
¤ I eat healthy foods.
¤ I do not smoke.
¤ I drink eight glasses of water a day.
What is one you haven’t checked that you can start doing this week?_____________________________________________________________
Call your doctor when …
- It’s time to get your fall flu shot.
- You have the flu and your symptoms last longer than one week.
- You have a fever higher than 102º for more than two days.
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