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It's the Season

       “The flu is smarter than we are, and

       we’re always trying to get ahead of it.”

       When you wake up sneezing, coughing, and have that achy, feverish, can’t move a muscle feeling, how do
       you know whether you have a cold or the flu?
       It’s important to know the difference between flu and cold symptoms. A cold is a milder respiratory illness
       than the flu. While cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, flu symptoms can make you feel
       quite ill for a few days to weeks. The flu can also result in serious health problems such as pneumonia and
        Cold symptoms usually begin with a sore throat, which  You can also get a flu vaccine to prevent seasonal
        generally goes away after a day or two. A runny nose   influenza. Within two weeks of getting a flu vaccine,
        and congestion follow, along with a cough by the   antibodies develop in the body and protect against flu.
        fourth and fifth days. Fever is uncommon in adults, but   Children receiving the vaccine for the first time need
        a slight fever is possible. Children are more likely to   two doses delivered one month apart.
        have a temperature with a cold.                   In Spain, the staff at the local Farmacia are trained to
        With cold symptoms, the nose teems with watery nasal  recognise the symptoms of common ailments and can
        secretions for the first few days. Later, these become   recommend potions and pills accordingly.
        thicker and darker. Dark mucus is natural and does not   However, you should call your doctor if you also have
        usually mean you have developed a bacterial infection.  any of the following severe symptoms:
        Cold symptoms usually last for about a week. During
        the first three days that you have cold symptoms, you
        are contagious. This means you can pass the cold to
        others, so stay home and get some much-needed rest.
        If cold symptoms do not seem to be improving after a
        week, you may have a bacterial infection, which means
        you may need antibiotics, or you may have developed
        Flu symptoms are usually more severe than cold
        symptoms and come on quickly. Symptoms include a
        sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and
        soreness, congestion, and a cough.
        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 a 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.
        The most important prevention measure for preventing
        colds and flu is frequent hand washing. Hand washing
        by rubbing the hands with warm soapy water for at
        least 20 seconds helps to slough germs off the skin.

   8                         February 2019
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