The 'need to know' on flu season - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

The 'need to know' on flu season

(Source: Raycom Media) (Source: Raycom Media)
(KFVS) -

It is that time of year again. The time where sore throats, coughs, runny noses and aches start to rear their ugly heads.

Those symptoms could mean you have a cold, or possibly even the flu.

According to medical professionals with Baptist Health in Paducah, while the cold and flu are both different viruses they share some symptoms.

A Cold lasts for roughly a week, with a contagious period in the first three days or so. Colds usually come with a sore throat which lasts a few days, followed by sneezing, runny nose and congestion. A cough also occurs after several days.

The Flu includes a sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion and even a cough. Symptoms typically last between two and five days, but feeling rundown for over a week is not uncommon. Pneumonia can also occur which causes shortness of breath. Check with your healthcare professional if this happens.

When should a doctor be called? According to Baptist Health, the cold and flu can be dealt with at home without the need for a physician. Medical treatment may be sought if symptoms last longer than three days.

Prevention should including hand washing for roughly 20 seconds, disinfecting the kitchen and bathroom areas, as well as children's toys. Using tissues once and then throwing them away, followed by washing your hands. Receiving the flu vaccine is also a preventive measure, Baptist Health suggests.

Flu vaccination is suggested to anyone six months or older by the Center for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

It is strongly recommended to:

  • Children six months to 59 months and whoever is caring for them
  • Women who are pregnant or plan to be
  • Those 50 or over
  • Anyone with a body mass index of 40 or greater
  • Nursing home and long-term care facility residents
  • Healthcare workers

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