Feel like you are coming down with something but not sure of exactly what that something is? Don’t worry: you are not the only one feeling a bit under the weather these days. February is the peak of flu season and there are lots of runny noses and high fevers to be found. However, while flu is definitely enemy #1 this month, you could just as easily be suffering from the common cold or an undiagnosed- and newly acquired- allergy. That’s why it’s important to identify your ailment before you can take steps to treat it. Check out the symptoms for colds, allergies and the flu below to find out what you have- and how to treat it.
If you are suffering from a fever that’s quickly escalated up to 102 degree Fahrenheit, and you also feel discomfort, aches or fatigue, you probably have the seasonal flu. Drink plenty of liquids and use over-the-counter medicine like acetaminophen or ibuprofen for treatment. You will need antivirals like Tamiflu if you are in a high risk group (pregnant, elderly or severely ill).
If the seasonal flu symptoms (albeit a bit milder) are accompanied by gastro problems (nausea, diarrhea, vomiting), your ailment might be the swine flu. Treatment advice for seasonal flu also applies for H1N1/swine flu but as this flu is much more contagious, take all necessary precautions and limit your contact with other people. Take some days off to recover at home but if you are not better by the end of the week, see a doctor.
High fevers are associated with the flu but if you feel that your fever stays in a comfortable range under 100 degrees Fahrenheit and you don’t have any particular aches to complain of, you might be suffering from the common cold. You will have to deal with nasal congestion though as a runny nose and a little cough is to be expected. As with the flu, staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest is also a top tip for the common cold. Colds run their course and medicine can only make you feel a bit better. So the only cure is to wait it out!
If you have a feeling of itchiness in either the eyes, nose and/or throat, you might have something different to deal with than the majority (who are probably all complaining about the flu). Allergies are less common in Winter time than they are in the Spring and Fall, but if you feel an attack coming, the best fix for you will be antihistamines or a netipot. If you already know your allergies, you should keep your meds with you at all times.
If you are still unsure of what’s ailing you, just visit us at the MedHelp clinic. Our doctors and trained medical staff will find out what’s wrong with you- whether it’s a cold, the flu or an allergy- and provide you with the correct treatment right away.