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Is this the flu, or do I just have a cold?


Friday, December 27th, 2013
Issue 52, Volume 17.
Dr. Don Lewis
Special to the Valley News
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You might think that you can tell the difference between a cold, the flu, a bad sore throat, and the common cold. Well, good for you, because Iím not always certain and I have been in medicine for over 40 years. It just isnít always that easy, at least in the beginning. As more symptoms come forth and time passes though, the matter should clear up.

In a recent medical publication, they printed a nifty little chart which I will try to produce here for you to use. You might even put it on your fridge for future reference.

COLD FLU PHARYNGITIS ALLERGY

SUDDEN ONSET XX

TEARING EYES X

CLOGGED EARS X

NASAL CONGESTION XX X

RUNNY NOSE XX XX XX

SNEEZING XX XX XX

POSTNASAL DRIP X

COUGH X XX X

SORE/SCRATCHY THROAT XX XX XX X

SWOLLEN NECK NODES X

DIFFICULTY BREATHING XX

HEADACHE X XX X X

BODY ACHES X XX X

CHILLS XX

FATIGUE XX X

NAUSEA/VOMITING XX

FEVER X XX X

ITCHING X

X = PRESENT IN SOME PATIENTS

XX = TYPICAL SYMPTOM

Possible complications

Cold: bronchitis, ear infection, pneumonia, sinusitis

Flu: pneumonia, encephalitis, meningitis, seizures

Pharyngitis: ear infections, mastoiditis, sinusitis, peritonsillar abscess

Hopefully, this chart is of some help. In any case, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, and wash your hands frequently.


 

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