Viruses cause the common cold and the flu. Early symptoms and signs for a cold and the flu are similar, however, flu symptoms are typically more severe than cold symptoms. Cold and flu viruses are transmitted typically via coughing or sneezing. Read more: How Long Is a Cold or Flu Contagious? Article
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Cold, Fever and Flu Symptoms in Children: Medications and Home Remedies
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How to Get Rid of a Cold: Natural Remedies
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Cold and Flu: Finding Fast Cough Relief
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Common Cold Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
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Cold & Flu Quiz: Influenza vs. Common Cold
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How to Prevent the Common Cold
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A Cold or The Flu? How to Tell the Difference
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Home Remedies for Sick Children
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Flu Shots: 10 Facts About Flu Shots
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Related Disease Conditions
What Is Mucus?
Mucus is a normal substance produced by lining tissues in the body. Excess mucus or mucus that is yellow, green, brown, or bloody may indicate a problem. Mucus production may increase when allergies, a cold, flu, cough, or sore throat are present. Antihistamines and cold and flu medications may help alleviate excess mucus. A neti pot may be used to decrease nasal congestion and clear mucus.
Sore throat (throat pain) usually is described as pain or discomfort in the throat area. A sore throat may be caused by bacterial infections, viral infections, toxins, irritants, trauma, or injury to the throat area. Common symptoms of a sore throat include a fever, cough, runny nose, hoarseness, earaches, sneezing, and body aches. Home remedies for a sore throat include warm soothing liquids and throat lozenges. OTC remedies for a sore throat include OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Antibiotics may be necessary for some cases of sore throat.
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
Common Cold: Early Signs and 4 Stages
The common cold or viral rhinitis is an upper respiratory infection caused by several types of viruses. It is one of the most common infectious diseases affecting humans. A common cold may typically follow a certain pattern of progression that has four different stages.
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus infection, cigarette smoking, GERD, postnasal drip, bronchitis, pneumonia, medications, and less frequently tumors or other lung disease. Chronic cough treatment is based on the cause, but may be soothed natural and home remedies.
How Do You Get Rid of a Cold Overnight?
Cold symptoms are part of your body’s healing processes. Most of the time, it does not require any help. However, you can get rid of a cold faster, even overnight, by resting, drinking hot fluids, blowing your nose, gargling with salt water, taking a hot shower, using a humidifier and taking OTC pain relievers and decongestants.
The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and maybe a fever. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments.
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of many conditions including motion sickness, pregnancy, emotional stress, gallbladder disease, and other illnesses. Learn about causes, treatment, and when to be concerned.
Mastoiditis in children and adults is inflammation and/or infection of the mastoid bone, which is located behind the ear. The most common cause of mastoiditis is an inner ear infection or otitis media. Acute mastoiditis lasts for a short period, while chronic mastoiditis can last for months to years. Symptoms of acute mastoiditis in children and adults include, pain and swelling behind the ear, pus draining from the ear, and a low-grade fever. Complications of mastoiditis include meningitis, abscess, dizziness, and conductive hearing loss. Mastoiditis requires antibiotic treatment so it cannot be treated at home with natural products or home remedies; however, home remedies may help reduce symptoms of pain, inflammation, and fever. Some individuals will need surgery to cure their infection.
Which Flu Is Worse A or B?
Flu or influenza is a contagious (spreads from person to person) viral illness that affects the respiratory tract (the nose, throat and lungs). Type A influenza is generally considered worse than type B influenza.
Laryngitis Home Remedies
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx. Inflammation of the larynx is most often caused by viral infections, and have symptoms such as sore throat, cough, problems swallowing, and fever. The voice changes produced by laryngitis may last after the fever and other symptoms of the acute infection has gone away. The best natural home remedy to relieve pain and other symptoms caused by laryngitis include resting your voice and breathing humidified air often. Turning on hot water in the bathroom and then sitting in the steam can soothe and relive laryngitis symptoms. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve) can relieve pain and inflammation caused by laryngitis. Don't give children aspirin to infants, toddlers, children and teens because of the risk of developing Reye's syndrome, which can be fatal. Home remedies like resting your voice and sitting in humidified air can cure laryngitis. Medications like anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can relieve and soothe pain and symptoms caused by laryngitis.
Cold and Cough Medicine for Infants and Children
The safety of giving infants and children over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medicine is important for caregivers to understand. While there is no "gold standard" recommendation for giving infants and children OTC cold and cough medicine for fever, aches, cough, and runny nose, a few standards have been recommended. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that OTC cold and cough medicine only be used in children age four years and older. The American College of Chest Physicians recommend that these medicines only be used in children age 15 years and older. The FDA recommends that OTC cold and cough medicine be used in children 2 years of age and older. However, there is agreement in regard to which OTC medications should not be used in children under the age of four (or the age of two, depending upon which guidelines are used), and they are 1) certain antihistamines like brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine maleate, and diphenhydramine (Benadryl); 2) cough expectorants (guaifenesin); 3) cough suppressants (dextromethorphan, DM); and 4) decongestants (pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine). Aspirin should never be given to infants, children, and adolescents due to the possibility of a rare, but often severe and even fatal illness called Reye's syndrome. REFERENCES:FDA. "Most Young Children with a Cough or Cold Don't Need Medicines." July 18, 2017. FDA. "Use Caution When Giving Cough and Cold Products to Kids." Updated: Nov 04, 2016.
Adenovirus 14 (Killer Cold Virus)
Adenovirus infection, particularly Ad14, or the "killer cold virus" has been on the increase in the past two years. Symptoms range from those experienced with colds, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea, pinkeye, fever, bladder infection, and neurological conditions. Diagnosis and treatment options need to be discussed with your physician.
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. The flu may be prevented with an annual influenza vaccination.
Can I Get Any STDs Through Clothing?
Most sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) cannot be transmitted through clothing. Some such as pubic lice, scabies and molluscum contagiosum can be transmitted by sharing clothes with an infected person.
Swine Flu (Swine Influenza A [H1N1 and H3N2])
Novel H1N1 influenza A virus infection (swine flu) is an infection that generally is transferred from an infected pig to a human, however there have been reported cases where infection has occured with no contact with infected pigs. Symptoms of swine flu are "flu-like" and include fever, cough, and sore throat. Treatment is generally with the antibiotics oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza).
Snoring is caused by the vibrations of the soft tissues at the back of the nose and throat while a person sleeps. There are many causes of snoring like being pregnant, allergies, asthma, colds, the flu, excess alcohol, some medications, smoking, and sleep position. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes snoring and can be serious. Treatments to reduce or stop snoring include lifestyle changes, home remedies, antisnoring devices and aids, medical treatments, and at times, surgery.
What Happens if a Pregnant Woman Gets a Cold?
Having an ordinary cold shouldn't be harmful to the baby or mother. Pregnant women are highly likely to pick up a cold at some time during pregnancy because it's normal to catch two or three colds a year. A healthy lifestyle is a must to keep the immune system strong and to prevent colds.
When Should You See a Doctor for Upper Respiratory Infection?
What is an upper respiratory infection? Learn the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection and what to do about it.
Is Scarlet Fever Contagious?
Scarlet fever is contagious when caused by a certain Group A strep bacteria strain. Scarlet fever can be transmitted via person-to-person contact and by coming in contact with contaminated objects. Treatment includes antibiotics. Scarlet fever symptoms include a red rash, fever, a red, sore throat, strawberry tongue, and others.
What Is Enterovirus (Non-Polio Enterovirus Infection)?
Non-polio enteroviruses cause a variety of infections, including aseptic meningitis, hand, foot, and mouth disease, herpangina, and the common cold. Symptoms and signs of enterovirus infection include hypoxia, eye pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fever. Treatment involves supportive care to reduce symptoms.
Cold, Flu, Allergy Treatments
Before treating a cold, the flu, or allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it's important to know what's causing the symptoms, which symptoms one wishes to relieve, and the active ingredients in the OTC product. Taking products that only contain the medications needed for relieving your symptoms prevents ingestion of unnecessary medications and reduces the chances of side effects.
Cold vs. Flu
Though the common cold and flu share many signs and symptoms, they are caused by different viruses. Signs and symptoms include sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, and cough. Treatment options for the cold and flu are similar and focus on reducing symptoms. Doctors may prescribe antivirals/neuraminidase inhibitors for the flu.
How Long Do Flu Symptoms Last in Toddlers?
What is the flu, and how long do symptoms last in kids? Learn the signs of the flu and find out what medicines may help.
COVID-19 vs. Flu vs. Cold
When you're feeling sick, it can be difficult to distinguish the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection from the symptoms of the common cold or the flu (influenza). While fever is common with the flu and COVID-19, sneezing is typically only associated with colds. Though sore throats are typical with colds, they are uncommon with COVID-19 infections and the flu.
Adenovirus infections are common and often have no symptoms. Adenoviruses cause illnesses like bladder infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, bronchitis, pinkeye, colds, encephalitis, sore throat, and meningitis. Signs and symptoms of an adenovirus infection depend on the type of virus causing the infection. Treatment focuses on supportive care. A vaccine against adenovirus type 4 and 7 is available only to U.S. military personnel.
How Long Does the Flu Last in Seniors?
What is the flu? Learn the signs of the flu in seniors and when you need to call a doctor.
What Are Postnasal Drip Medications?
Postnasal drips refer to the feeling of mucus collecting or dripping inside the throat from the back of your nose (postnasally). This may occur when there is excess mucus formation, when the mucus becomes too thick or when the normal flow of mucus is blocked or hindered.
Are You Too Sick to Work?
When you're not feeling well, it may be difficult to decide whether to stay home or go to school or work. Conditions that are very painful may prevent you from working effectively. Anyone with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or dizziness should stay home.
What Can You Take for a Cold While Pregnant?
You may take over-the-counter (OTC) treatment after consulting with the physician because these are generally safe. OTC medications for colds and flus include acetaminophen, guaifenesin syrup and saline nasal drops or spray. You can also use natural remedies to treat a cold during pregnancy.
What Are The Side Effects of the H1N1 Flu Vaccine?
H1N1, also known as the swine flu, most recently caused an outbreak in 2009. The vaccine for it used to be a separate shot, but is now included in your yearly flu shot. The side effects are similar to the flu shot, and are usually minor.
How Can I Get Rid of a Cold While Breastfeeding?
The common cold is a viral infection that affects your nose and throat. There is no cure for the cold while breastfeeding, so you’ll need to give it time to clear up.
Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and Colds
If you have a COPD such as emphysema, avoiding chronic bronchitis and colds is important to avoid a more severe respiratory infection such as pneumonia. Avoiding cigarette smoking, practice good hygeine, stay away from crowds, and alerting your healthcare provider if you have a sinus infection or cold or cough that becomes worse. Treatment options depend upon the severity of the emphysema, bronchitis, or cold combination.
How Do You Tell If Your Child Has Allergies or a Cold?
Colds and allergies have different causes, but both involve the body's immune system. Since the symptoms of allergies and the symptoms of a cold overlap, it can be hard to tell which one your child has.
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- Colds: Zinc For Colds...Jury Still Out!
- Colds: 10 Tips to Prevent The Common Cold
- Killer Cold Virus (Adenovirus Strains)
- OTC Cold and Cough Medications
- When to Call the Doctor for Fever, Nausea, Diarrhea, Colds, and Coughs
- Air Travel, Colds, and Sinus Infections
Medications & Supplements
- ephedrine (oral)
- Side Effects of Mucinex DM (guaifenesin and dextromethorphan hydrobromide)
- Side Effects of Claritin D (loratadine/pseudoephedrine)
- Zinc for Colds: Lozenges & Nasal Sprays
- Side Effects of Tamiflu (oseltamivir)
- Mucinex DM (guaifenesin and dextromethorphan hydrobromide)
- pau d’arco
- FluMist, FluMist Quadrivalent influenza vaccine live intranasal
- Fluzone High-Dose (Influenza Vaccine)
- Types of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Medications
- Xofluza (baloxavir marboxil) Side Effects, Warnings, and Drug Interactions
- Afluria Quadrivalent (Influenza Vaccine)
Prevention & Wellness
- Flu Cases Already Up 23% This Season
- Is a Really Bad Flu Season on the Way?
- Is Flu Ready for a Comeback? Get Your Shot
- Your Job Could Put You at Much Higher Risk for Flu
- Flu Shots for Kids Protect Everybody, Study Shows
- Is It Coronavirus, Flu, or Cold Symptoms? Coronavirus Smothers Lungs with 'Fluffy Globs'
- An Expert's Guide to a Safe Run in Cold Weather
- Is a 'Universal' Flu Vaccine on the Horizon?
- Flu Vaccine Making a Strong Showing This Season
- Flu Season That's Sickened 26 Million May Be at Its Peak
- Were You Born in an H1N1 Flu Year or an H3N2? It Matters
- There's a Virus Spreading in U.S. That's Killed 10,000: The Flu
- Could Your Fitbit Help Detect the Flu?
- A Workout Could Be Good Medicine for the Common Cold
- Gyms Are Fertile Ground for Germs
- Flu Cases Surge Early, Could a Tough Season Lie Ahead?
- Cases of Flu Continue to Mount Across America
- When Does Your Child's Flu Merit an ER Visit?
- Many Child Care Centers Don't Require Flu Shots
- Can You Get the Cold and Flu at the Same Time?
- Flu Cases Are Spiking Early, Suggesting Tough Season Ahead
- Ketogenic Diet May Help Fight the Flu
- New Role for Modern Family's Julie Bowen: Flu Fighter
- Protect Yourself From Frigid-Weather Emergencies
- Climate Change Will Hurt Kids Most, Report Warns
- Get Vaccinated Before Flu Takes Hold: CDC
- Flu Season Is Coming: Here's How to Protect Yourself
- Only Thing Certain About Flu Season: You Need to Get Your Shot
- Last Flu Season's Vaccine Only 29% Effective: CDC
- Many Health Care Workers With Flu, Colds Still Go to Work: Study
- Health Tip: Your Child's Runny Nose
- 'Two Wave' Flu Season Unusually Long: CDC
- Do Hospitals Have Flu's Spread Under Control?
- Got the Flu? You Probably Shouldn't Head to the ER
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- How to Decide When You're Too Sick to Work
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- U.S. Flu Cases Hit 7 Million Mark: CDC
- Changes to Flu Shot Supply Chain Could Save Lives: Study
- Flu Shot Crucial for Those With COPD
- Flu Widening Its Grip on the United States: CDC
- Flu Rides the Subway, Too
- Health Tip: Getting the Flu If You Have Cancer
- Can You Predict Your Common Cold Risk?
- Nose Holds Clues to Baby's First Cold
- Almost Half of U.S. Adults to Skip Flu Shot
- Nurse Fired for Refusing Flu Shot, Protestors Say
- Arm Yourself Against the Coming Flu Season
- Roll Up Your Sleeves to Avoid the Flu
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- Health Tip: Flu 101
- Don't Become a Flu Statistic. Get Vaccinated
- Skip the Cold Meds for Kids Under 6, Experts Say
- Flu Season Lingers in Big Cities
- Working Out When Under the Weather
- Colds Especially Bad? Your Nose Might Be to Blame
- 80,000 Americans Died From Flu Last Year
- All Children Should Receive Flu Vaccine ASAP, Doctors Advise
- Steer Clear of Obese Friends With the Flu
- Newer Flu Vaccine Only Slight More Effective in Seniors: FDA
- Who Will and Who Won't Get the Flu?
- Humidity Won't Hamper Spread of Flu Virus
- Many, But Not All, Hospitals Require Flu Shots for Staffers
- Scientists Are Targeting the Common Cold
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- Nasty Flu Season Shows More Signs of Slowing
- Why the Flu Makes You Feel So Miserable
- New Version of Nasal Flu Vaccine to Return for Next Season
- Even Hidden Flu May Trigger Trouble After Heart Surgery
- Is It a Cold or Flu? Here's How to Tell
- Human Cold Virus Killed Chimpanzees
- Will This Year's Flu Shot Be as Weak as Last Season's?
- When a Cold or Flu Strikes a Family Member
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- Is It a Cold or the Flu? Here's How to Tell
- Do Your Part to Stop Spreading Colds and Flu
- Could Infant Colds, Other Infections Raise Type 1 Diabetes Risk?
- Health Tip: Treating Your Child's Cold
- Protect Yourself From Colds and Flu This Winter
- Try Home Remedies for Child's Cough or Cold
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- Enterovirus D68 No Deadlier for Kids Than the Common Cold: Study
- Colds, Flu Up Odds for Stroke in Kids, Though Risk Is Low: Study
- Too Little Sleep May Quadruple Your Risk for Colds: Study
- Is It a Cold or an Allergy?
- FDA Shares Advice to Avoid Colds and Flu
- New Clues to How Colds Can Spur Asthma Attacks
- Study Ties Colds, Flu to Rare Risk of Stroke in Kids
- When Colds, Flu Lead to Complications in Kids
- Common Cold Meds May Pose Health Threats
- Expectant Mothers' Colds May Affect Baby
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- When a Common Cold Becomes More Dangerous for Kids
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- Health Tip: If You Have a Cold
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- Zinc May Slightly Help Adults With Colds, Not Kids
- Research Shows How Colds Lead to Coughing, Wheezing
- Health Tip: Skip the Cold Medicine Before Age 4
- Catch a Bus, Catch a Cold
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- Health Tip: Caught a Cold?
- Regular Hand-Washing Can Prevent Against Colds, Flu
- Killer Cold Virus: Questions, Answers
- Killer Cold Virus Appears in U.S.
- Panel: No Cold Medicine for Young Kids
- Infant Cough, Cold Drugs Withdrawn
- FDA Experts Urge Ban on Cold Medicines for Young Children
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