Is it a cold or the flu?

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — It’s that time of year where a lot of us are starting to get sick. USA Health Family Medicine clinics have seen an influx of patients over the last few weeks.

But how do you know if you have the flu or just a cold? If your symptoms seem to be gradual, it’s probably a cold.

“Think from the neck up. So scratchy throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, sometimes coughing and sneezing, rarely a fever though,” said Erin Sheppard, Family Nurse Practitioner for USA Health.

The flu is more abrupt. You will feel bad right away. “It’s more systemic meaning body aches and fevers and chills,” said Sheppard.

If you think you have the flu you should go to a health clinic and get tested right away. Treatment is more effective if administered within the first 48 hours after you start showing symptoms.

USA Health’s Family Medicine Clinic created this poster to help you differentiate between a cold and the flu.

To protect yourself and others, be sure to wash your hands frequently. Also, if you feel sick you should stay home from school or work.

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