To prevent flu -- or any illness -- you've got to stick with a healthy lifestyle.
"I really believe your immune system takes care of a lot of things," says Erica Brownfield, MD, a professor of internal medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. "Even if you've been exposed to the flu, you don't have to get it."
The best flu prevention strategy is basic -- good nutrition, regular exercise, and enough sleep, she tells WebMD. "You can also wash hands frequently, and avoid people who...
What's the difference between colds and the flu? A typical cold causes a runny nose (the discharge is usually clear, but it could be yellow or green), body aches, coughing, and sometimes a mild fever. By day four or five, you should be well on your way to recovery.
Flu, on the other hand, can produce all those symptoms, plus headaches, fatigue, and most significantly a fever of 100 degrees or higher.
How to tell? Go to the clinic if you have sinus pressure or pain, a persistent or worsening sore throat, a deep cough that's making you hack up yellow or green phlegm, fast or difficult breathing, ear pain, or a high fever. If you think you have the flu -- and it's diagnosed quickly enough, a health care provider can give you an antiviral drug to help ease symptoms faster.
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