Cold vs Flu in Oklahoma and Walk In Clinic Locations

First Med Urgent Care: What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

The flu and the common cold are caused by different viruses but are both respiratory illnesses. These two types of illnesses have similar flu-like symptoms. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. With the flu, symptoms such as: fever, body aches, ​extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense.

Colds are milder than the flu usually. If you have the flu, you’re more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as bacterial infections, pneumonia, or hospitalizations. At First Med Urgent Care, we provide you with the flexibility of a Walk In Clinic with five Oklahoma City and Edmond locations. Sometimes, the symptoms alone cannot provide you with a distinction between the cold and flu.

How do youCVS_Flu_Infographic_FINAL-662x1024-400x619 tell the difference between a cold and the flu?

Colds and flu share many of the same symptoms, and so it can be difficult (or sometimes impossible) to only look at the symptoms and know the difference, but it is a start. Special tests can be conducted soon within the illness to know if a person has the flu. If you think you or your child has the flu, please visit one of our five Walk-In Clinics in the OKC Metro or Edmond. We are an Urgent Care Clinic, and no appointment is needed.

What are common flu symptoms?

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more intense. Symptoms such as a fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense with a flu than with a cold.

WebMD states this about flu symptoms:

Most flu symptoms gradually improve over two to five days, but it’s not uncommon to feel run down for a week or more. A common complication of the flu is pneumonia, particularly in the young, elderly, or people with lung or heart problems. If you notice shortness of breath, let your doctor know. Another common sign of pneumonia is fever that comes back after having been gone for a day or two.

Just like cold viruses, flu viruses enter your body through the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, or mouth. Every time you touch your hand to one of these areas, you could be infecting yourself with a virus, which makes it very important to keep hands germ-free with frequent washing to prevent both flu and cold symptoms.

If you don’t have flu symptoms yet, you are a prime candidate for the flu vaccine. Once you get the vaccine, it takes two week to take affect, so please visit one of our Urgent Care Clinics in OKC or Edmond today. We offer flu vaccines all day, seven days a week, from 8am to 7:30pm. The below graph give us insight on flu trend in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has not hit the seasonal flu peek yet, but First Med was recieving cases of the flu as early as September this year! Help us prevent the spread of the flu in Oklahoma, starting with your household.

FluTrendChart_0

What are common cold symptoms?

Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. They do not usually result in serious health problems, such as bacterial infections, pneumonia, or hospitalizations. A cold usually begin with a sore throat, which disappears after a day or two. What follows the sore throat is nasal symptoms, congestion, and a runny nose. By the fourth and fifth days, people usually develop a cough. Fever with a common cold is uncommon in adults, but a small fever is possible. Children are more likely to develop a fever with a cold.

How long do cold symptoms last?
Usually, cold symptoms last for about a week. You are contagious during the first three days that you have cold symptoms, which means you can pass the cold to others. So stay home and get the rest you need.

Can I prevent flu or cold symptoms?
Healthy living can help prevent the cold or flu. The most important prevention measure is frequent hand washing.

In addition to washing your hands properly, you can also get a flu vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza. In the United States, the peek of flu season is generally between late December and early March. This year, the flu season started early in September, but hasn’t hit it’s peek yet. Remember, once you get a vaccine for the flu, it takes antibodies two weeks to develop in the body and provide protection against flu.

Click here for First Med Urgent Care locations throughout the OKC Metro. We are open 7 days a week.