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by Sucharu Chris Prakash, MD
Q: I have had a sore throat and cough for 3 days. How do I know if I have a cold or the flu?
A: This is the flu season. In fact this year, the flu (influenza) has been rampant across the U.S. The number of flu cases seems to be waning in Texas, however by no means is the danger over. You ask a very important question. Not every sore throat, cough or fever means that you have the flu. The Common Cold and Flu symptoms can sometimes overlap. If you’re trying to determine if your symptoms are a cold or the flu, the following may help, but it can often be difficult to differentiate, and may require a visit to your doctor.
What are the symptoms of a cold?
Cold symptoms can last from 2 days to 2 weeks, and often include:
What are the symptoms of the flu?
The flu usually comes on suddenly, though people can host the flu virus for 1-4 days before symptoms begin to emerge. People feel some or all of these symptoms:
So, What are the key differences?
How can flu be prevented?
What to do if you have the flu?
These medicines reduce the severity and shorten the duration of influenza (flu) symptoms by 1 to 1½ days if given within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.
This information is strictly an opinion of Dr Prakash, and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Dr Chris Prakash is a contributing columnist, and author of eParisExtra’s “The Doctor is In” column. He is a medical oncologist at Texas Oncology Paris. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Oncology and Hematology. He lives in Paris, TX with his wife and two children, and can be reached at 9037850031, or Sucharu.firstname.lastname@example.org