Sinus Health and Wellness

The Common Cold, Influenza and Sore Throats

 

Common Cold

While you are reading this, about 30 million people in the United States have the common cold.  Colds are caused by more than 200 different cold viruses.  They are very contagious.  The average person gets 3 to 4 colds a year.  A cold usually lasts 3 to 7 days.  In older persons, though, a cold can lastlonger.  The cough that comes with a cold can last a few weeks after the cold symptoms go away.

Prevention

Signs and Symptoms:

Causes & Care 

You can get a cold virus from mucus on a person’s hands when they have a cold, such as through a handshake.  You can also pick up the viruses on towels, telephones, money, etc.  Cold viruses travel through coughs and sneezes, too. 

 Self-care usually treats a cold.  Antibiotics do not treat cold viruses.  Persons with some health conditions, such as asthma, should consult their doctors for advice to manage symptoms. 

 Self Care

For Sore Throat Care:

Contact doctor for:

Influenza

 Flu or “influenza” is a virus that affects the nose, throat, breathing tube, and lungs.  “Stomach flu” is stomach upset and diarrhea caused by a virus in the stomach and intestines.  It is not the flu. 

Prevention

Cases, Risk Factors & Care

 Certain viruses cause the flu.  A flu virus is picked up by hand-to-hand contact of the virus or by breathing in air droplets that contain the virus. 

 Conditions that Increase Flu Complications

Most often, self care treats the flu.  People with chronic illnesses should consult their doctor for advice on how to manage symptoms.

Self-Care:

NOTE:  Do NOT take aspirin - it has been linked to Reye's Syndrome in children and teenagers. 

Contact doctor for:

Get Immediate Care For:

Is It A Cold or the Flu?

Signs & Symptoms Cold Flu
Fever, chills Mild, if any Usual, can be high
Headache Rare Usual
Aches and pains mild, if any Usual, often severe, affects the entire body
Fatigue, weakness Mild, if any Usual, often severe.  You may want to stay in bed
Runny, stuffy nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore throat Common Sometimes
Cough Mild, hacking Common, can become severe

Students who have questions or concerns regarding their personal health may e-mail the Health and Wellness Center Nurse, call (814) 641-3410, or visit the Center during its hours, Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. as well as Monday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.