It’s flu season, and this year the flu has been deadlier than ever before. So far, the Australian federal health department reports that there have been 131,000 cases of the flu this year, and the death toll has now reached 300. It’s important that you know how to tell the difference between cold and flu symptoms, so you can seek professional medical advice from your GP as soon as possible.
“The common symptoms many of us experience during a cold or flu - sore throat, running or blocked nose, headaches and sinus pain may be triggered by inflammation in your body,” says Pharmacy franchise CEO, Feras Karem. “Taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen as part of a holistic health management approach is a great way to reduce cold and flu symptoms and help you get on with your life. However, there is a different virus for cold than there is for flu. Your doctor or pharmacist will be able to tell from your symptoms which it is you’re suffering from. Here are some quick identifiers.”
How to tell the difference between a cold and the flu
1. Is your head hot?
“A fever is an indicator of flu, and can manifest via sweats and a warm forehead when you touch the back of your hand to it. If your temperature is over 37 degrees Celsius, see your pharmacist for a consult to help you stave off the flu.”
2. Does it seem like you’re underwater?
“A stuffy nose and head are symptoms of the common cold, brought about by inflammation of the sinuses. You can erase the symptoms of a common cold, such as stuffy nose and sore throat, by eating well, resting up, taking an anti-inflammatory, sipping water, and exercising gently.”
3. Are your respiratory issues in your head and chest, or lower?
“If your symptoms are manifesting in your head and neck, then you’ve likely got the common cold. While these symptoms can feel awful, they’re not as bad as those experienced when you have the flu. Flu symptoms tend to be lower respiratory infections.”
4. Do you have a headache?
“While a stuffy nose can occasionally cause headache, a headache can be a symptom in itself – of a flu. Headache pain across your forehead and in the temples combined with a fever can indicate the flu, and you should visit a doctor or your pharmacist if you have these symptoms.”
5. Feeling lethargic?
“It could be the flu. Chills and fatigue or weakness are symptoms of the flu and you should visit a doctor or pharmacist if you have them. However, the common cold can be treated at home if your symptoms are only sneezing, sore throat or a stuffy nose (i.e. above the neck).”
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