Well, it’s cold and flu season, and that means that you need to be well aware of the steps that you need to take in order to avoid getting sick. After all, no one likes the feeling of waking up feeling worn out without any energy. This year, you can prepare yourself and your family to withstand the seasonal sniffles and stay healthy all year long.
Before we even get into discussing the 7 Amazing Tips for Staying Healthy this Cold and Flu Season, I want to answer some common questions we get about the Common Cold, Flu, and COVID-19. If you are already well informed on these illnesses, feel free to skip to the next section-7 Amazing Tips for Staying Healthy this Cold and Flu Season.
1. What is the difference between the Cold and Flu?
Ans. The symptoms for the cold and flu can be similar. In general though, influenza is a much more severe illness. They are caused by two different viruses.
2. What Causes the Cold and Flu?
Ans. There are 100s of different viruses which can cause the common cold, but the most common culprit is Rhinovirus.
Influenza on the other hand has thousands of different virus subtypes due to its rapid rate of mutation. The most common types of flu which can cause symptoms in humans are influenza A and B.
3. What are some of the symptoms of cold or flu?
Ans. In general, symptoms of the common cold tend to be mild. You can expect nasal congestion, runny nose, and a minor cough. Occasionally, you might have a low grade fever. Symptoms of the flu, on the other hand, are more severe. These may include high fever, chills, cough, muscle aches, profound fatigue, and nausea or vomiting.
4. What if I am diagnosed with the cold or flu?
Ans. If you are diagnosed with the common cold, your doctor may recommend increasing your fluid intake and rest. For nasal congestion, I have often recommended nasal lavage for my patients. You could do this using a nasal lavage kit. I have also recommended zinc lozenge tablets (Cold Eeze are my favorite but any zinc lozenge tablet would work). Various Herbal Medicine practitioners recommend Elderberry which is thought to work by inhibiting cold and flu viruses from entering your cells. Studies performed in Israel and Norway seem to support its use if taken early on in the illness (you have had symptoms less than 48 hours). Eucalyptus is another natural remedy which may improve cough and congestion.
If you are diagnosed with the flu, and are early enough in your illness, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic such as Tamiflu (trademark). If you are diagnosed with a co-infection of both the Flu and COVID-19, it is even more important to be started on an ant-flu medication as soon as possible.
5. What is COVID-19 and how can I get it?
Ans. COVID-19 is a member of the Coronavirus family much like SARS and MERS. According to the CDC, the virus can be transmitted from person to person via droplets (Sneezing, coughing) through close contact (being closer than 6 feet), and touching infected surfaces and then rubbing your eyes or nose.
What are some of the symptoms of COVID-19?
Ans. Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild runny nose and cough to severe life threatening shortness of breath and chest pain. If you have been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19 and develop these severe symptoms call 911.
Now for our feature article! Take a look at the 7 Amazing Tips for Staying Healthy This Cold and Flu Season (down below).