It’s not winter yet but that doesn’t mean the flu isn’t around. It’s easy to be misled about influenza or the cold (or the difference between them) with so many “wisdom gems” out there. There is a good chance some of the information you have heard may be wrong.
The cold is called “common” for a reason. Approximately 22 million school days are lost each year in the U.S. due to the illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and about 100 different viruses can cause it.
Both cold and flu are contagious viral infections of the respiratory tract that make you cough and give you headache. But congestion, sore throat, and sneezing are associated with colds, while the flu brings high fever for days, tiredness, and causes your body to feel weak. A cold is milder than the flu and one can’t turn into the other because they are caused by different viruses.
What they have in common is where they “reside” before they enter your body. People touch dozens of objects, sometimes a lot more, in an hour. Desk, keyboard, phone, water fountain, restroom, doorknobs – all of them are real estate for bad viruses. You’re not even completely safe at home where the kitchen, and the remote control, get the most traffic.
Influenza activity often begins to increase in November, according to the CDC. It’s already time to get ready. You can start by avoiding certain places or take precautions if you can’t.