Cold & Flu
Information regarding Cold and Flu Symptoms and how to prevent the spread of germs.
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Cold & Flu
Staying healthy is an important part of your success in school and at work. The tips outlined on this page can help members of the EWU community stay well during times of increased illness. Whether in class, at home or when traveling these tools may help you and those you care about stay healthier.
Staying Healthy during cold and flu season:
Viruses and bacteria, the germs that cause respiratory infection, are spread from person to person in droplets when a sick person coughs, sneezes or talks: some virus also can be spread when a person touches a surface with the virus on it (e.g., a door handle), and then touches his/her nose or mouth.
Keep germs away:
- Wash your hands before eating or touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Wash your hands after touching anyone who is sneezing, coughing, blowing his/her nose, or who has a runny nose.
- Don't share food, utensils or beverage containers with others.
- Don't share things like towels, lipstick, toys, cigarettes or anything else that might be contaminated with respiratory germs.
Cold vs. Flu Symptoms
What's the difference between the Cold & Flu?
|SIGNS and SYMPTOMS||COLDS||Flu|
|Location of Infection:||Upper respiratory||Whole respiratory system|
|Caused by:||200+ strains of viruses
(most common is rhinovirus)
|2 strains of viruses
Influenza A - causes the deadly influenza that strikes every 10-40 years (mutates regularly)
Influenza B - causes smaller, more localized outbreaks (mutates regularly)
|Onset:||Gradual (over a day or two)||Sudden (within a few hours)|
|Fever:||Occasional||Characteristic, high (over 101ºF), lasting 2-4 days|
|Headache:||Frequent and usually less severe||Prominent, often severe|
|General Aches, Pains:||Slight||Usual, often severe|
|Fatigue, Weakness:||Quite mild||Can last up to 2-3 weeks|
|Extreme Exhaustion||Never||Early and prominent|
|Stuffy nose||Very common||Sometimes|
|Chest Discomfort, Cough:||Mild to moderate, hacking cough||Common, can become severe|
|Season (viruses thrive in cold seasons):||All year-round, with peak in the winter||Most cases between November and February|
|Do antibiotics help?||No||No|
|Can the doctor help?||Only by treatments that lessen the symptoms||Yes - if treatment is started within first 2-3 days|
Click on the following links for more information on the influenza:
I have the "flu" - What do I do now?
Prevent spreading germs to others:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
- Use a tissue to wipe or blow your nose and quickly throw away used tissue.
- Stay at home to avoid spreading germs when you have a cough or fever.
- Follow your doctor's instructions, including taking medicine as prescribed and getting lots of rest.
- Wear a mask in a medical office, if asked.