Considering how common they are, colds and flu are the subject of a great many misconceptions. Dr. Seth Feltheimer, an associate attending physician, and Patricia Ciminera, nurse practitioner at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, offer their insights and expertise on these sources of misery.
First, the differences: a cold is usually an upper respiratory tract infection with symptoms including a sore throat, head congestion, sinus pain, and low-grade fever. On the other hand, the flu is generally marked by a higher fever, a sore throat, a cough, and body aches. A common cold usually lasts two to three days while the flu usually takes a week or more to abate. Unlike colds, the flu can lead to more serious complications and even hospitalization, especially in high-risk individuals like asthmatics, people with compromised immune systems, and the elderly.
Now, on to the facts and the fallacies!
Click here to download a printable PDF version of this slideshow
Reviewed by Jason C. Baker, MD 11/13.
The best way to prevent a cold is to wash your hands.
FACT OR FICTION?
Grilled Tuna Burgers With Ginger Mayonnaise Simple Black Bean Dip Speedy Chicken Chili Sweet Banana Walnut Cookies Coeur á la Crème With Fresh Strawberries Meatball Pitas Creamy Chives Dip Ginger Mustard Pork Chops Confetti Cookies Chicken and Cranberry Salad
I was talking with one of the hockey dads while our kids skated hard and came to a stop in the corner of the ice – huffing and puffing frosty breath with hands on their knees. Meanwhile, I was pulling the Dexcom from my pocket every few minutes and glancing at it. "Diabetes?" "Yeah," I said. Other than the coach and the assistant, I didn't talk to any of the dads the whole season about Charlie's diabetes. I guess I figured they all had to know...