According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year up to 20% of the American population gets the flu. Plus, there are roughly one billion cases of the cold in the U.S. each year. Here are some helpful tips to get you through the cold and flu season.
What is the difference between the cold and flu?
The flu and common cold are caused by different viruses. The flu is typically more severe with symptoms such as body aches, headache, high fever, fatigue and chills. The common cold has milder symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose and sore throat.
How do these illnesses spread?|
These illnesses are spread through coughing, sneezing, talking and touching contaminated surfaces.
How can I reduce my chances of getting sick?
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. These viruses can remain on hard surfaces, such as door knobs, counter tops, cell phones and keyboards for several hours so remember to disinfect frequently with a household cleaner. You can also visit your H-E-B Pharmacy for the annual flu vaccine.
How can I treat cold and flu symptoms?
There are some simple ways to relieve symptoms:
If you experience flu-like symptoms within the first 48 hours, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication. Antibiotic medications are not effective against these illnesses, but there are some over-the-counter products that may help with symptoms:
Always consult with your pharmacist before starting any over-the-counter medications, as some can worsen certain conditions.
Should I get the flu vaccine? When?
All patients over 6 months of age should receive the flu vaccine every year. It is especially important to get the vaccine if you, someone you live with, or someone you care for is at increased risk for developing flu complications. Patients at risk include the following:
Talk to your H-E-B Pharmacist if you have any questions about the common cold or the flu.
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