Spring break has been in high gear for most of March. But many folks have been sidetracked by runny noses, hacking coughs, watery eyes and sore throats. Some swear they’ve had the flu despite having their flu shot last fall. Others blame the budding of flowers and trees for their allergies hitting hard. Still others simply write the problem off to an ordinary cold.
Any of the three is pretty unpleasant and inconvenient. After all, tearing up when making a presentation can be pitiful. And is there anything as un-rosy as a red nosy?
So, to set the record sorta straight, here are the symptoms for each of the three, so you’ll know exactly what’s being ailing you and/or your pals:
- Symptoms: Stuffy, runny nose; sneezing; sore throat; a mild fever and cough last up to two weeks
- Treatment: Drink lots of fluids, get plenty of rest and take over-the-counter meds to ease symptoms. For the sore throat, gargle with salt water. Antibiotics won’t have an effect on the ordinary cold.
- Period of contagion: Most contagious one day prior to symptoms appear and for the following week.
- Symptoms: High fever, headaches, achy muscles, sore throat, tired, nasal congestion and cough last 10-days to two weeks
- Treatment: Drink lots of fluids, get plenty of rest, take over-the-counter meds to ease symptoms and check with your doctor for prescription anti-viral medications
- Period of contagion: May be Typically one to four days, but could possibly last as long as two weeks
- Symptoms: Sneezing, stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes as long as allergens exist
- Treatment: Over-the-counter medicines including antihistamines, decongestants. Check with an allergist for prescription and long-term treatments.
- Contagion: Not contagious
Make sure that you don’t play pharmacist and mix medications. They can do more harm than good. So, check with a healthcare professional like your primary care doctor or pharmacist.
Also, if you think you have a cold or the flu, be selfish and don’t share. If you are living with someone who is under the weather with the contagious stuff, make sure you wash your hands, avoid close contact and stock up on broths, hot teas, over-the-counter drugs and tissues.