What are the differences between the flu and common cold?

October 8, 2019

This season, cold and flu symptoms are likely to impact millions of children and adults alike. Without the proper medical intervention, a patient's cold and flu symptoms can leave them bedridden or even hospitalized.

However, families and individuals patients alike need to understand the differences between the influenza virus and the common cold. Each of these diseases have similar symptoms, but they don't require the same treatment or prevention.

If you believe you need any type of seasonal urgent care treatment, then you'll want to speak with a local urgent care provider. But taking some time to learn the differences between cold and flu-related illness prevention, as well as treatment, can keep your family safe and healthy during the fall season!

Flu Prevention and Treatment address specific flu viruses

Each year, the flu virus changes and adapts in order to infect as many patients as possible. A virus like influenza can change drastically from the previous flu season, which means that specific flu viruses require specialized flu prevention and treatment.

Flu prevention is fairly simply and straightforward that patients of all ages can engage in. This is because the most effective way to prevent the flu is to get seasonal flu shots from a nearby urgent care center.

A flu shot is manufactured each year and then stocked by urgent care specialists in order to help patients build immunity from the latest flu viruses. The flu shot, or "flu vaccine" in a more formal term, uses a weakened strain of the flu to help create improved immunity from the virus. A patient's antibodies can then help create a stronger immune system that is resistant to the flu.

Additionally, a flu shot is administered to patients through a means that makes it easy for them get vaccines easy. A walk-in clinic is able to help patients get same-day flu shots and provide affordable options for the flu. For example, a walk-in clinic and urgent care center allows patients to pay for a flu shot with multiple insurance carriers and affordable out-of-pocket rates.

Flu prevention is also attainable by implementing a few key prevention strategies in your daily routine such as:

  • Covering your mouth after you sneeze or cough during flu season. Additionally, cough or sneeze into your elbow to avoid the spread and exchange of other germs, i.e a "vampire cough/sneeze"
  • Avoiding public spaces and shared spaces with visibly sick or infected patients
  • Frequently washing your hands in order to help reduce the spread of germs and cleaning off any germs you may have come into contact with

Common colds are a different type of virus, but with similar treatment options

Patients are likely to confuse the common cold with the flu virus, but it helps to understand that colds come from a different type of virus.

A rhinovirus is a particular type of virus that travels through airborne means, and specifically through the nose (did you know that "rhin" means nose in latin?). When a patient gets a common cold they may confuse their symptoms with the flu virus. However, the flu vaccine may not protect against most forms of rhinovirus.

The symptoms of rhinovirus are incredibly similar to the flu, which creates confusion. According to healthychildren.org and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the symptoms of the common cold.

  • Sneezing
  • A mild fever
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Muscle aches
  • A decrease in appetite

To prevent the common cold, it helps to use some of the same flu prevention tips mentioned above to stay hygienic. These include frequent hand-washing, maintaining clean personal space, and avoiding work and public areas when sick.

Get cold and flu seasonal care in Leetsdale, CO!

At AFC Urgent Care Leetsdale, individual patients and families alike can get both cold and flu treatment for symptoms and preventive care needs! Just visit our nearby urgent care center at 850 S Monaco Pkwy, Suite 10 in Denver to get any and all seasonal care needs!

Cold and flu symptoms can be treated early on if detected by a medical provider or urgent care staff. The types of treatment that can be accessed via walk-in clinic includes relief for congestion, headaches, nausea, and fatigue as well.

Additionally, a local flu shot can go a long way in protecting you and the members of your family from the flu. By going as early as possible to our Leetsdale clinic, you can ensure that your fall remains festive without the threat of a nasty flu infection.

Understanding the key differences between the flu virus and the common cold can help patients ensure they have a safe autumn season!

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