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Dr. Edwards' Blog

Is it influenza or just a common cold?2/13/17

Today's blog starts with a question:  In which month are you most likely to catch the flu bug?  Read on to find the answer, but first a few facts and symptoms of influenza.

Influenza is a viral infection that attacks the respiratory system, including your nose, throat, bronchial tubes and lungs. Although it's commonly called the flu, influenza is not the same as the stomach viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Anyone can get the flu, but young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems and those with chronic illnesses are especially vulnerable.

Initially, the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. But colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on suddenly. And although a cold can be a nuisance, you usually feel much worse with the flu.

The Mayo Clinic lists these common signs and symptoms of influenza:

* Fever over 101 F in adults, and often as high as 103 to 105 F in children
* Chills and sweats
* Headache
* Dry cough
* Muscular aches and pains, especially in your back, arms and legs
* Fatigue and weakness
* Nasal congestion
* Loss of appetite

Whatever illness you may have, whether it's influenza or a really bad cold, be sure to get plenty of rest, drink fluids and wash your hands to keep from spreading the germs throughout your home.  Also, be sure to sanitize common areas like counter tops, sink and toilet fixtures and doorknobs.

Now for the answer to our question about what month people are more likely to get sick:  Cold and flu season runs from October to April.  And the month we're all more likely to catch something?  Look out, we're in it -- February! So maybe it's not all that surprising that so many people are missing work and kids are missing school these days.  Take care!!  

 

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