The cold and flu are two of the most common upper respiratory illnesses. Without early diagnosis and treatment, the cold and flu can increase your risk of more serious health problems, including bronchitis and pneumonia. At Live Urgent Care, Browlyn Marquez, MSN, FNP-C, APN, offers 24/7 care for the cold and flu, as well as sinus problems, coughs, and allergies. To schedule an appointment at the Princeton, Bellmawr, Somerset, Morris Plains, or Sayreville, practice, call, walk-in during normal business hours, or book online today.
The cold and flu are common viral infections that affect the nose, throat, and lungs. Though often mentioned together, the cold and flu are two separate things:
The cold is a viral infection that’s typically harmless. It affects people of all ages but is especially common in children who are six and younger. Colds generally last a week to 10 days. Telltale signs of a cold include a runny or stuffy nose, a sore throat, and a low-grade fever.
The flu is a viral infection that attacks the upper respiratory system. It’s usually harmless but can present life-threatening symptoms in young children and adults 65 and older. You can lower your risk of catching the flu by getting an annual flu shot.
The cold and flu affect people of all races and genders, but several factors may increase your risk, including:
You’re also more likely to catch a cold or the flu during certain times of the year, particularly during the fall and winter.
There’s no way to prevent the cold and flu entirely, but there are steps you can take to significantly lower your risk. Live Urgent Care recommends eating a balanced, nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep. It’s also important to regularly wash your hands with soap and water and cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze.
To diagnose the cold and flu, Live Urgent Care reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms, and conducts a physical exam. If your doctor suspects a bacterial infection or another problem is the source of your symptoms, they might also order laboratory testing or a chest X-ray for further analysis.
Treatment for the cold and flu depend on the severity of your symptoms and their effect on your daily life. If you have a cold, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter medications like pain relievers, decongestant nasal sprays, or cough syrups.
If you have the flu, your doctor might prescribe an antiviral medication like Tamiflu or Xofluza. These drugs can help shorten the length of your illness and help lower the risk of potentially serious complications.
If you have a cold or the flu, request an appointment at Live Urgent Care. Call the nearest location or book online today.