It’s easy to mistake mild sickness or the flu for a minor cold at first. However, while the flu shares many common cold symptoms, flu symptoms are typically more severe and come on quicker.
Early Signs Of The Flu Include
- Sudden fever (usually above 100°F [38°C])
- Scratchy or sore throat
- Muscle or body aches
- Running nose
Note that a fever is common during the early time of the flu, but not everyone with the flu will have a fever.
Getting a fever is one of the first signs you’re sick. Everyone has different body temperatures, so someone with a lower-body temperature will have a lower temperature required for a fever. So if you think you have a symptom, you should avoid people to limit exposure.
You’re the most contagious even before your symptoms appear 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. A headache combined with a fever, sniffling, and sneezing could be the flu, and you should take a rest and stay home. It may take a few days to a couple of weeks to recover from the flu if there are no complications.
Green Or Yellow Nasal Discharge
These are symptoms of a sinus infection. Most sinus infections that don’t have a high fever, more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit that lasts less than ten days, slowly get better without getting worse again. Antibiotics are ineffective for viral infections, but things like saltwater irrigations of the nose and over-the-counter medications such as decongestants, thin mucus, and anti-inflammatory pain medications.
If you’re feeling extreme fatigue, it’s likely from the flu. Sometimes you feel run down for a few days even after other flu symptoms stop. But, on the other hand, a cold will unusually stop you from performing your day-to-day tasks.
When you catch a cold, you feel chilly and shivery. It feels so healing to spend the day in bed resting. As the body is fighting off a virus, it can give you a low-grade fever. Because your body temperature slightly increases, the atmosphere surrounding you feels colder comparatively. If your fever increases to over 103 degrees Fahrenheit, or you are experiencing more violent chills, you should see a doctor immediately. It might not be a cold your body is fighting off. Instead, feeling cold might be a small symptom that could signal something more serious.
If you get sudden dizziness and start to feel a little disorientated, it’s a sign you may be getting sick. Dizziness can be a sign of a severe illness, so if you feel dizzy as a sign of sickness, you should talk with your doctor.
Drowsiness And Fatigue
When you feel low and tired, all you want to do is go to bed and sleep. It’s a sign that you’re sick. However, this is a good thing because it helps your body heal. Plus, if you’ve had rough nights multiple times in a week, it’s another sign you may be sick. At last, feeling more tired than normal is a sign you’re sick and need to rest and stay home to avoid spreading whatever disease you have, especially in these critical times.
When To Call Your Doctor
And looking at the latest scenario, if your symptoms follow those of COVID or you’re not sure if you have it, call your doctor. You would have some immunity for the flu if you got the flu shot five to six weeks before getting sick. After that, your doctor may treat you with Tamiflu; this medicine decreases flu symptoms and can limit your illness by a day or two.
Your doctor can also test you for COVID and the flu at the same time. However, Tamiflu is most effective if you take it as soon as symptoms begin. Therefore, it is advisable to take Tamiflu while you wait for test results.
Treatments for COVID, the cold, and flu are similar. You should:
- Get plenty of rest
- Take medicine to reduce fever and headaches
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Use a humidifier while sleeping to ease breathing
Part of staying healthy means keeping yourself and the people around you safe if you’re sick. If you feel like you’re getting sick and getting the common symptoms mentioned above, stay home and restrict the number of people you see. However, if you’re worried about bacteria and virus exposure at your home or office, contact your doctor.