An Easy Guide To The Flu

by Christopher Paul on January 16, 2013

A good portion of the population is spreading the flu and its miserable symptoms. But there is more than one illness to watch out for. Jennifer Cain at The Kicker breaks down what the flu, cold, strep, and whooping cough are and how to identify and treat each one.

There are four big telltale signs that can help you distinguish among a cold, the flu, and whooping cough:

  1. Fever equals flu. You might get a slight temperature from a cold, but if you’re really heating up, it’s probably the flu.

  2. Colds are mild and long lasting. Colds usually start with a sore throat, then progress to symptoms like a runny nose and congestion, followed by a cough that won’t go away. And they don’t usually cause fevers. Sometimes it can take up to 3 weeks to get rid of a cold entirely. The flu, though, tends to come on quickly all at once and be more intense, but it doesn’t linger. If you’re running a fever and your body aches and you can’t get out of bed and don’t feel like eating anything, it’s flu time.

  3. Pink swollen tonsils are the strep red flag. Strep throat also comes on quickly and starts with a sore throat and headache. So how do you know what’s what? Tonsils that look red or inflamed (sometimes with white yellow patches of pus on them – ugh), with an absolutely killer sore throat, separates strep – a bacteria that usually takes antibiotics to cure – from flu (against which antibiotics are useless). Show a doctor if you think it’s strep. No Instagram photos please.

  4. Diarrhea can be a sign of norovirus or whooping cough. Whooping cough, or pertussis, a strong cough that ends with a “whoop” noise, takes effect 10-12 days after a common cold sets in. It’s caused by bacteria and can be fatal for infants. You might also experience stomach issues from what’s called the stomach flu but is a totally different thing from the seasonal flu. This year norovirus is the stomach flu variety that’s sweeping the country.

Best advice for those who are sick:

Stay home.

You’ll get the rest you need and help prevent things from spreading further.

via Kottke

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