It's December and everywhere you look friends and family are down with flu symptoms: fevers, body aches, and fatigue.
If you're still feeling pretty chipper yourself, great! But if you want to hedge your bets, it's good to know that even though flu season is in full swing, it's not too late for the added protection of the flu vaccine.
Flu viruses change from year to year. So each year, manufacturers develop a new vaccine based on predictions of what strains of influenza viruses will be around...
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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