Flu or a Cold? How to Know

October brings many things, from colorful leaves to cooler weather, however, it’s also the start of flu season. Seems early, doesn’t it?  Fear not, as the flu, if dealt with early on, is preventable, which is why we need to talk about the flu now. Sometimes, however it can be hard to know if what you have is the flu or just a cold. It can be confusing. We know.

How do you know if it’s the flu or a cold 

While the flu and a cold or your garden variety upper respiratory illness can be very similar,  the flu fever starts abruptly,  while with a cold there may or may not be a fever at all, and if there is one, it’s more gradual. A flu fever can go up to 104 degrees, while  a cold usually will go up to 99-100. With the flu it’s is very common to have body aches, joint aches, decreased appetite, headaches and a dry cough. With a cold, you might experience some of the same symptoms, but  the prevalent symptoms are going to be a runny stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, a cough, and possibly a low-grade fever.

Who is at risk for having complications from the flu?

  • Pregnant Women
  • Folks 65 years of age and older
  • Kids 5 years of age and younger
  • People who have Chronic Diseases, such as:
  • Heart Disease
  • Metabolic Diseases (Diabetes)
  • Asthma
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Liver Disease
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Immuno-suppressed individuals (not only individuals with AIDS but people undergoing chemotherapy as well)

What are the complications that we worry about with the flu?

  • Ear Infections
  • Sinus Infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Tracheobronchitis (croup)

Who Should not get the flu vaccine?

According to the CDC, there are certain people for whom the flu vaccine is not recommended. These include people who have had prior severe reactions to the flu vaccine, and interestingly enough, people who have egg allergies, as the flu vaccine does contain a small amount of egg protein.

How to Prevent Flu

There are a number of things you can do to help prevent against the flu, but the biggest safeguard you have is the actual flu shot. This year we are able to offer the quadrivalent flu vaccine which helps guard against 4 different types of flu- 2 different types of viruses- 2 types of Influenza A and 2 types of Influenza B.

At AFC Urgent Care Danbury you can walk right in, no appointment necessary, to any of our Danbury walk-in clinics. We are located at 2 Main Street, 100 Mill Plain Road, and our newest location at 76c Newtown Road. All our locations are open 7 days a week and ready to treat you. You can save time by checking in online and we accept most insurances.


3700 Cahaba Beach Road Birmingham, AL 35242

Our Mission and Values:

Our mission is to provide the best healthcare possible in a kind and caring environment, in an economical manner, while respecting the rights of all of our patients, at times and locations convenient to the patient.

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