Cold and Flu Information
Many people wonder if what ails them is a cold or the flu. Here's a guide to differentiating between them.
|Fever||Rare||102° - 104° for 3 - 4 days|
|Aches and pains||Slight||Usual, often severe|
|Fatigue and weakness||Mild||Extreme, up to 3 weeks|
|Cough or chest discomfort||Mild||Common, can be severe|
What to do if you have the flu...
- For fever, pain, or general sick feeling, take acetaminophen (Tylenol-650 mg. every 4 hours or 1000 mg. every 6 hours), or ibuprofen (Advil-400 mg. every 4 hours). Ibuprofen must be taken with food. Tylenol may be alternated every 2 hours with Advil. (For example, 2 tables Tylenol at 10 a.m., 2 Advil at noon, 2 Tylenol at 2 p.m. and so on.)
- To keep your throat moist, increase your fluid intake. If it is difficult to swallow solid foods, nourishment can be maintained with gelatin desserts, fruit juices, ice cream, etc. Warm fluids often feel better than cold fluids.
- Lozenges such as Cepacol or Sucrets may make you feel better. Hard candies may also be soothing.
- Get extra rest.
- For nasal congestion, an over-the-counter medicine such as Sudafed is advised.
- For cough, an over-the-counter cough syrup that contains dextromethorphan can suppress your cough.
Tamiflu is a prescription medicine for the flu virus. It must be started within 2 days of symptom onset, and it may shorten the time you are sick by 1-2 days. It is taken for 5 days.
- Call 610-758-3870 for an appointment within the first two days of symptoms if you'd like a prescription for tamiflu or if you'd like to be checked. Otherwise, please make an appointment if you are not feeling better by the fourth day of your illness, or if you feel well (no fever for 24 hours) and then feel sick again.
Ways of Preventing the Flu
If you are unable or choose not to receive the flu vaccine:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick
- Stay home and do not attend classes if you are sick
- Clean your hands frequently
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
- Consult with your doctor about the use of antiviral medications if you do become ill with the flu