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Flu Facts

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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?


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by Nicole Purcell
I want to start by saying that in our twenties, we sometimes do dumb things. I suppose that's true of any age, but our the twenties seem particularly ripe for it. We're sometimes off on our own for the first time, we often feel oddly invincible (even with a serious chronic), we're not all that street wise. We're you know, in our twenties. Sooooo.... Anyway. In my early twenties, I met a dude who was super nice in the endocrinologist's waiting room and we became instant...