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When It’s Not Just a Cold: Understanding the Flu

Colds are often referred to as mere annoyances, something unavoidable that you’ll likely encounter at least a few times a year. However, a severe cold can be incapacitating, keeping you out of commission for a few days. Oftentimes, these colds are thought of as the flu. So how can you tell the difference?

To start, the flu and the common cold caused by different viruses, despite the fact that they can have similar symptoms. Although the cold can make you feel like you want to curl up in a ball on the couch, the flu makes it the only possible thing you can do. From fever to body aches, tiredness and dry cough, the flu can not only be debilitating on its own, but also lead to bacterial infections and pneumonia. Colds, while often making you feel feverish, tired, and achy, also tend to come with a runny or stuffy nose.

The only true way to tell the difference is with medical testing. As a general rule, if you don’t feel like you need to go to the hospital you likely just have a bad cold. If you’re concerned, urgent care is a quicker, cheaper alternative for flu testing if you can’t get into your primary care doctor’s office right away. You can get confirmation as to whether you have the flu, and then decide on the best course of treatment with one of our highly experienced physicians.

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