The Difference Between The Flu and a Cold
Influenza (flu) is a viral infection of the throat, tracheas, and bronchi. A “cold” is a viral infection of the nose and throat. Flu and the common cold are annoying but do not pose a health danger to most healthy people. The flu or a cold will usually run its course in 7-10 days. It is usually most advantageous to treat the troubling symptoms. Antibiotics do not treat the flu or common cold because these are viral. Antibiotics taken for the wrong reason can ride your body of its natural flora which can decrease your body’s ability to fight.
Important Things to Remember:
- Coughing, fever and excess secretions may lead to dehydration. Drink at least 10-12 glasses of water or juice a day.
- Tiredness and difficulty sleeping are common side effects of all viruses. Rest and sleep are needed.
- During pregnancy, it is best to avoid medications if at all possible, but if the symptoms become severe, use this information as a guide and, whenever in doubt, call your care provider.
- Call your care provider if you experience any of the following:
- Temperature over 100.5 or lasting more than 3 days
- Breathing becomes difficult or severe shortness of breath occurs
- Severe sore throat with temperature above 100.5
- Avoid medications before 12 weeks if possible
- If pregnant, make sure you read the labels and avoid products with alcohol, aspirin, or ibuprofen.
Treatments of Cold and Flu
Aches & Pains
- Quad warm bath, heating pad (on low)
- Tylenol 325mg (2tabs) every 4-6 hours.
Stuffiness / Congestion
- Vicks to the chest with a warm towel
- Cool mist humidifier/vaporizer (may add eucalyptus oil for added relief)
- Saline nasal wash (1/2 tsp salt in 1/2 cup warm water)
- Saline nasal spray
- Decrease milk intake for a few days as this can increase mucous production
- Hot lemon drink
- Sage tea
- Sudafed (pseudoephedrine hydrochloride 30mg) 1 every 4-6 hours–do not take more than 4 doses in 24 hours.
- Tavist D 1 tab every 12 hours, not to exceed 2 in 24 hours.