Influenza (flu) can cause some serious symptoms. The common cold can also cause the same symptoms as the flu, such as coughing, sneezing, and chest discomfort. Wellington Physicians Urgent Care, located in Wellington, Florida, can help relieve your cold symptoms and accurately diagnose and treat the flu.
What Are the Differences Between Colds and Flu?
Both colds and flu present with headache, cough, and chest discomfort. The common cold often causes sneezing, sore throat and congestion.
Complications from a cold tend to be minor and may include sinus pressure, sinus infection, and bronchitis. The flu, also known as influenza, is a contagious viral infection that impacts the body’s respiratory tract and is spread by inhaling air droplets containing the virus, sharing eating utensils or drinks, or handling other items touched by a person infected with the flu and then coming in personal contact through nose, mouth, or eyes. To feel better from a cold, medical professionals urge people to get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids.
When compared to the common cold, the flu is more likely to cause high fever, fatigue, weakness, and body aches. Common complications from the flu include bronchitis and pneumonia. Symptoms can begin within 1-4 days after coming in contact with the virus and those most susceptible are infants, elderly, pregnant women, and those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and HIV. Regular hand washing is the recommended method of prevention and spreading both cold and flu.
Fever is one common symptom of a severe cold or flu. It is the body’s reaction to help fight against invading organisms, illness and infection. Cold and flu are common viral infections that can cause a fever. Bacterial infections, such as a urinary tract infection or pneumonia, can also cause a fever.
Healthy adults and children can tolerate a fever of 103-104 °F for short periods of time without complications. There are some cases when a fever should be evaluated by a doctor, including one that occurs after travel to other countries, which may result from exposure to other diseases. Going to urgent care for a high fever is an option if the body temperature continues to be 103 °F or higher for longer periods of time.
Severe cold and fever or frequent or recurring fevers may require medical attention, such as 3 or more times in 6 months, or fevers that reappear after 7 days or 48 hours apart. Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing these recurring type fevers.
Protecting Yourself and Others
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds can help slow down the spread of a cold or flu. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Regular handwashing is critical to protecting yourself and others because viruses can survive on your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Each year in the United States, millions of people get the common cold. On average, adults get 2 -3 colds a year, while children have even more. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including objects such as toys and doorknobs
Getting vaccinated can also help your immune system as the best line of defense. Urgent care for flu or cold can sometimes offer flu vaccinations, especially during flu season. Certain people who have an underlying medical condition or a weak immune response need to protect themselves as best as possible.
When Should I Seek Help for Cold and Flu Symptoms?
The common cold can often be treated with over-the-counter medicines. However, recurring cold and flu symptoms that do not go away within a few days mean that you likely need more intensive medicines or cold and flu treatment. A minor runny or stuffy nose may not be a reason to rush to an urgent care center to seek help from a medical professional, but upper respiratory infection issues, fever or dizziness means you likely need help sooner rather than later.
Urgent Care for Cold and Flu
Urgent care can be the right choice for the common cold or suspected flu, as an accurate diagnosis can lead to the right treatment for you.
Because so many of the symptoms overlap, it is important to determine the type of illness in order to make sure that you are not contagious and do not need further treatment. An urgent care can make that determination for you and relieve your symptoms.
Contact Us Today
Wellington Physicians Urgent Care, located in Wellington, Florida, is open seven days a week with convenient daytime and evening hours for patients needing urgent care treatment. Wellington Physicians Urgent Care’s team of medical professionals are here to help with your cold or flu.
Walk-in or make a reservation online. →