Cold and Flu Treatment Q&A
Often, it is believed the common cold and the flu are the same thing, but they are actually two completely different respiratory infections that are commonly seen during the colder weather months. If you believe you are dealing with symptoms from a common cold or flu and need medical help, visit Columbia Clinic Urgent Care today! Our medical professionals can help you to get rid of your condition with the appropriate treatment. For more information, please contact us or book an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you at Tibbetts St Portland, Stark Street Portland and Tigard, OR.
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Once you have been exposed to someone who has the cold-causing virus, you should expect to see symptoms of the common cold appear around one to three days later, this can vary from person to person, these symptoms may include:
● Runny nose
● Stuffy nose
● Mild body aches
● Mild headache
● Low-grade fever
● General overall unwell feeling
The discharge from your runny nose will normally start out clear, then become thicker and turn yellow or green as the common cold runs its course throughout the body. However, this does not mean you have a bacterial infection.
The flu, which is medically known as influenza is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system, this includes your nose, throat, and lungs. This flu is not the same as the stomach flu, even though it is commonly thought to be as such, the stomach flu virus is what causes an individual to have diarrhea and vomiting.
Influenza may seem to start off like you are getting the common cold, often with a runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat. However, colds develop slowly, whereas influenza tends to come on suddenly and quickly. Common signs you may notice that are different from a cold include:
● Aching muscles
● Chills and sweats
● Dry, persistent cough
● Shortness of breath
● Tiredness and weakness
● Runny or stuffy nose
● Sore throat
● Eye pain
● Vomiting or diarrhea (more common in children than adults)
The flu virus travels through the air in droplets when someone with the infection begins to cough, sneeze, or even talk. You can have the droplets enter your system by inhaling them or if you pick up an item that has the germs on it from the person infected like a telephone, computer keyboard, door handle, etc. Which can then be transferred to your system if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Individuals who are contagious with the flu, are most likely contagious the day prior to their symptoms appearing until around five days after the symptoms have appeared.
Influenza viruses are constantly manipulating themselves into new strains and appear regularly. If you’ve previously had the flu in the past, your body has created antibodies to fight the specific strain you had, in the future you may still get the flu, as it’s a different strain your body has not dealt with before, so it has no antibodies to fight it off as easily.
The common cold and the influenza virus both come from respiratory tract infections that start in your nose, sinuses, and throat; however, from there they are quite different.
The common cold has symptoms that begin to build over a 48-hour timespan, you may notice symptoms of a runny nose, watery eyes, stuffy nose, congestion, sneezing frequently, and coughing, and the symptoms from the common cold can last anywhere from 3 to 10 days.
The influenza virus offers a fast onset of symptoms, usually, the first symptom you will notice is a fever followed by chills. This will be followed up with body aches and pains, weakness, and fatigue, these symptoms can last many hours of the day and go as long as a week, with some lingering for up to three weeks prior to your onset of the first symptom.
As wild as it may sound, the symptoms you are dealing with from the common cold or influenza virus are actually your body’s form of naturally fighting and healing you. With each day that passes, your immune system is working diligently to fight off the virus, so you can get better faster.
Both cold and flu require three main things to help you get better:
● Rest: Take time to relax, sleep when you can, and just let your body fight the virus off.
● Fluids: Drink plenty of fluids to help flush out all the junk in your body by drinking water, sports drinks, and tea.
● Time: It will take time for your body to heal itself.
It is best to let the virus run its course, there are some symptom relievers available on the market to help you through the next few days or weeks while you fight off the viruses including over-the-counter medicine, tea, and a humidifier. Make sure to constantly keep your hands clean as well as this is how you may have picked up the viruses in the first place.
We realize how essential it is to obtain the proper treatment for colds and the flu at Columbia Clinic Urgent Care. Our highly skilled medical staff is committed to delivering exceptional care so that you recover soon from your condition. For more information, please contact us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Tibbetts St Portland, Milwaukie OR, Oak Grove OR, Stark Street Portland, Fairview OR, Happy Valley OR, Gladstone OR, Cedar Mill OR, Tigard OR, Lake Oswego OR, Tualatin OR, Oregon City OR.