Cold and Flu
The common cold causes congestion, sore throat and sneezing. Both the common cold and the flu are respiratory illnesses that can cause cough, headache, pain in the muscles and joints, and chest discomfort. Complications of the common cold are usually minor and include bronchitis, sinus pressure and sinus infection.
Influenza (the flu) is a contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. It’s more likely to cause high fever, body aches, fatigue and weakness when compared to a common cold. Complications include bronchitis and pneumonia.
The flu is spread by inhaling droplets in the air containing the flu virus, sharing drinks or eating utensils or handling items touched by a person infected with the flu. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that handwashing, especially during flu season, is an important prevention method for both the common cold and the flu, as it helps your immune system by preventing exposure to the virus. Wash hands for at least 20 seconds, and help young children do the same. The CDC recommends If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Symptoms begin one to four days after infection with the flu virus.
Those most susceptible include pregnant women, infants, the elderly and those with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and HIV. A flu shot (the flu vaccine) can help your immune response to the virus and is highly recommended each year.
A fever is a symptom, not a disease on its own. It’s the body’s reaction to bacterial and viral infections and illnesses. The fever is telling the body to fight against the invading organism. Most healthy children and adults can tolerate a fever of 103-104°F for short periods without problems. Viral infections (cold/flu) and bacterial infections (urinary tract infections/pneumonia) often cause a fever. A fever that begins after travel in other countries needs to be evaluated by a doctor as this allows exposure to other diseases. Frequent or recurring fevers should also be evaluated by a doctor .
Why Choose Urgent Care for Colds or the Flu?
Cold and flu treatment in adults and children is often necessary to help treat your symptoms and help you find relief. Left untreated, the flu can become much more dangerous.
If a fever persists for a long period of time, dehydration becomes an issue or recurring cold and flu symptoms are particularly bad, please go to the emergency room for immediate medical attention.
However, urgent care for viral infections can often be a choice for colds and the flu, as most people experience minor, treatable symptoms. Seeking help at one of our urgent care facilities can help you start feeling better, sooner. This can also assure that treatable symptoms do not become bigger problems by accurately diagnosing and treating your issues, in the case that problems are serious.
If you think you may need more than rest with the flu or a cold, please contact one of our convenient locations near you to find relief.