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Cold & Flu Quiz: Can You Tell the Difference?

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You woke up with a sore throat and a runny nose. You probably have:

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You woke up with a sore throat and a runny nose. You probably have:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Still, it could be the flu. Colds and flu share a few symptoms. Both are caused by viruses that invade the upper airways. But colds have milder symptoms. Fever, body aches, dry cough, and being very tired are more likely to be the flu.

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Cold symptoms tend to come on gradually, but the flu comes on suddenly.

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Cold symptoms tend to come on gradually, but the flu comes on suddenly.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

You'll often feel a cold coming on over a few days, but flu symptoms seem to come on quickly, over a period of three to six hours.

Being exhausted is a sign of:

Being exhausted is a sign of:

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  • Correct Answer:

If you feel like you can't get out of bed, don't. Serious fatigue, along with chills, and body aches, are signs that you have the flu -- so you need plenty of bed rest. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) can help with body aches.

You can catch the flu from someone before they look sick.

You can catch the flu from someone before they look sick.

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  • Correct Answer:

People can spread the flu a day before they start to feel sick and up to seven days after they do. So they can pass the virus on before they know they have it. People with colds are most contagious two to four days after symptoms show up. But a cold can be contagious for as long as two weeks. That's a good reason to wash your hands often during cold and flu season, not just when you're around someone who seems to be sick.

You should stay home from work if you have a cold.

You should stay home from work if you have a cold.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It really depends on how you feel. If you can't focus on your work duties, if you're coughing a lot, or if you just feel bad, stay home until you feel better. Since you may be contagious, your co-workers may actually thank you for it. If you do go to work, cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and wash your hands often. If you have the flu? Stay home. You probably won't feel like going in, and you definitely don't want to spread it!

Drinking fluids helps the flu, but not a cold.

Drinking fluids helps the flu, but not a cold.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

With a cold or the flu, fluids help break up congestion and thin mucus. So drink plenty of liquids like water, herbal tea, ginger ale, and soup. Sports drinks or broth can also help you stay hydrated.

You can go to work as soon as your fever goes away.

You can go to work as soon as your fever goes away.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Wait at least 24 hours after your fever goes away naturally -- without using any medicines to bring it down -- before you go back to work. You should also avoid travel, social events, movies, and other public gatherings for a good 24 hours after your temperature is normal.

Chicken soup may help fight a cold.

Chicken soup may help fight a cold.

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There's a reason why this home remedy has been making the rounds for hundreds of years. We know that chicken soup is good for you and keeps your fluids up. Studies show that it may also help fight infection and keep germs from entering the body through the nose. Chicken soup also seems to thin mucus better than other warm liquids.

When are you most likely to get the flu?

When are you most likely to get the flu?

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  • Correct Answer:

 Winter is flu season, but flu outbreaks can happen anytime between October and April. Over the past 35 years, most people have come down with the flu in February. The best time to get a flu vaccine is in the fall, before flu season starts, so your body has time to build up immunity. Better late than never, though. Getting a flu vaccine anytime during flu season offers some protection.

Which can soothe a sore throat?

Which can soothe a sore throat?

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  • Correct Answer:

Sucking on ice chips or a frozen ice pop actually does double duty for a cold and sore throat: It numbs your throat and gets fluid into your body. Gargling with a mixture of 1 cup of warm water and 1 teaspoon of salt can also ease a sore throat. Spit the liquid out after each gargle.

The average cold lasts:

The average cold lasts:

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 It may seem like forever when you have one, but colds actually last anywhere from two days to two weeks. Most last about a week. See a doctor if you've been sick more than seven days or have:

  • A high fever
  • Severe sinus pain
  • Swollen glands
  • A cough that produces mucus
  • Shortness of breath

If you have a bad cold, you should take antibiotics.

If you have a bad cold, you should take antibiotics.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Antibiotics won't help a cold, no matter how bad you feel. That's because antibiotics treat bacterial infections, but viruses cause colds. If your cold brings on a bacterial infection such as an ear or sinus infection, your doctor may give you antibiotics. If it's plain old sniffles or a sore throat, try over-the-counter medicine to help you feel better while your cold runs its course.

Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.

Congratulations! What you know about colds and flu is nothing to sneeze at.

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You have a lot to learn about colds and flu. Study up and take the quiz again.

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