Cold, flu and pneumonia season has arrived, and with it comes achy, feverish symptoms. Getting a flu vaccination — and frequent hand-washing — can help you from getting sick.

However, practicing cold and flu prevention isn’t a 100 percent guarantee you won’t get a cold or the flu. If you do get sick this season, you might wonder which of the two illnesses you have. Learn the different symptoms of colds and flu — and what you can do to feel better.

Cold symptoms and treatment

Colds usually start with a sore throat. By day four or five, a stuffy, a runny nose and cough are common. Children are also most likely to get a fever.

You can treat colds with over-the-counter decongestants, pain relievers and fever reducers. If symptoms don’t improve in a week, you can contact Teladoc to rule out a sinus infection or allergies.

Flu symptoms and treatment

Anyone with the flu can experience the following symptoms: a sore throat, cough, muscle aches, headache, high fever (100 degrees and up) and congestion. Flu can also cause vomiting and diarrhea. Flu-related weakness and fatigue are also common and can last up to three weeks.

Flu complications and treatment

Some flu symptoms, like chest discomfort and a cough, can lead to pneumonia. The elderly and anyone with heart and lung problems are at the highest risk for pneumonia — watch for shortness of breath and a fever that goes away and returns a day or two later. Flu can also lead to sinusitis, ear infections and bronchitis.

Flu may be treated with over-the-counter decongestants, pain relievers and fever reducers — or prescription antiviral drugs. Pneumonia can result in hospitalization, so it’s important to practice flu prevention.

If do you have any cold or flu symptoms this season, Teladoc can help you feel better. You can talk to a licensed doctor from home, work or on the road 24/7.

 

*Teladoc membership required. Visit Teladoc.com to learn more.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly evolving. While we are continuously reviewing and updating our content, some of the information in this article may not reflect the most up-to-date scientific information. Please visit the online resources provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and your local public health department to stay informed on the latest news, or reach out to Teladoc to speak with one of our board-certified physicians.