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  Shelby Leith   November 23, 2015   Health, Flu, Cold, Family 0 Comments

How to tell the difference between a cold and the flu

Tips from Velocity Care for staying well this seasonVelocity Care cold and flu

It’s that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting cooler and more and more people are feeling the effects of colds and flus. It is often easy to mistake a cold for the flu, which is one reason we are here to help you. Velocity Care can help prevent sickness and even offer ways to treat your cold and flu symptoms.

How do I know if I am suffering from a cold or the flu?

The symptoms from both of these viruses can be very similar and it’s often difficult to determine whether the illness you are experiencing is the common cold or influenza. As a general rule, symptoms of a cold are very mild in comparison to the flu, which, in some cases, can be much more severe and can develop quite quickly.

Here is a comparison of the common symptoms for both of these viruses:


  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Fever (low grade fever is most common in children)


  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches and stiffness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Someone suffering from one of these viruses may experience all or only a few of these symptoms and the severity and duration can differ from person to person.

What can I do to keep from getting sick?

One of the most important things that you can do to stop the spread of germs and prevent sickness is to wash your hands. Viruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours. This means that we are constantly exposed to germs. If a virus is present on your hands and you touch your food or your mouth, nose or eyes, you could be transferring that virus to yourself. Frequent and thorough hand washing and the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will kill these germs and reduce your exposure and the chance of contracting a virus.

Another way to protect yourself from falling ill this season is to get your annual flu shot. Each year a new vaccine is developed that will help fight off the current strain of the flu virus. Children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with a compromised immune system are especially good candidates for the flu shot, but it is a highly recommended course of action for everyone. The flu vaccine will decrease your risk of getting sick this season and help to prevent the virus from spreading.

What should I do if I become sick?

Whether it is a cold or flu virus that you are fighting, the treatment methods are very similar and will depend on your specific symptoms.

  • Administer a fever reducer such as Tylenol or Advil.
  • Stay well hydrated, especially if you are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Relieve a sore throat or cough with lozenges or an over-the-counter cough remedy.
  • Use a decongestant or antihistamine to treat symptoms of sniffling, sneezing, runny nose or congestion.
  • Get lots of rest to help your immune system fight off the virus and get you feeling better quickly.

Our professional team at Velocity Care can help keep you and your loved ones healthy this cold and flu season. Contact us to book an appointment for your annual flu shot. Visit www.velocitycare.com/locations to find the location nearest you.


Be prepared for the 2016-2017 flu season with Velocity Care's guide

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Medical disclaimer

This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.

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