Almost one billion people catch a cold and more than 200,000 people catch the flu every year in the United States. However, there are some steps you can take to keep you and your family healthy during cold and flu season.
The primary means of spreading a cold and the flu is through hand-to-hand contact or from objects that have been touched by someone who is already ill.
The best ways to prevent illness is to:
The flu shot is widely available at local stores, healthcare providers and at the Board of Health. Click here to learn more about getting a flu shot at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health.
The common cold and flu are respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. The common cold produces mild symptoms usually lasting only 5-10 days.
Symptoms of a cold include:
Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between a cold and the flu by symptoms alone but in general the flu is worse than the common cold.
Symptoms of flu include:
Most healthy people get better from a cold in about 7-10 days. Some people including children, the elderly and those with chronic illnesses are at higher risk of getting really sick from a cold or the flu. If symptoms become severe or last longer than about 10 days you may have the flu, pneumonia, or another illness that should be reported to your doctor.
Some symptoms include: