It is going to be winter in the northern hemisphere; and the winter chill not only cheers, but brings about snotty noses, colds and coughs too!
New York-Presbyterian Hospital offers some information to help you sort through the facts and fictions of colds and flu.
To begin, colds and flu are different. A cold is usually an upper respiratory tract infection. Symptoms include a sore throat, head congestion, sinus pain, and low-grade fever. Flu symptoms usually include a higher fever, a sore throat, cough and body aches.
A cold usually lasts two to three days while a flu can last as long as a week. Flu can lead to more serious health complications, especially in the elderly and people with asthma.
Here are some facts about colds and flu
The best way to prevent a cold is to wash your hands and to avoid people with colds.
You can't catch a cold by staying outside in the cold too long. You catch a cold by touching something that's been touched by someone infected with a cold or by breathing in moisture that's been coughed out by someone with a cold.
People get colds more often in the winter because they spend more time indoors in contact with one another.
Antibiotics cannot cure a cold or flu, which are caused by viruses.
The best way to defend against the flu is to get a flu shot.
There is no vaccine against the common cold.
If you have the flu, don't go to work. If you go to work, you'll expose your colleagues to flu infection. Stay home where you can rest and recover.
Flu shots cannot give you the flu. They may cause mild flu-like symptoms, but this is rare.
If you are not sure whether you needit read this article on FLU vaccine