Health Watch

Health Watch

 
text size

HEALTHWATCH: Flu vs Cold

Updated: Wednesday, October 9 2013, 07:18 PM CDT
It's officially flu season  and local doctors are treating cases of influenza "A" and "B" already.
Physicians say patients often come in with what they think is a stubborn cold, when they really are infected with the flu.
   
How you tell the difference between the symptoms
Dr. Reed Gahagan is getting ready for what he thinks will be a very busy flu season.

The newest member of Sacred Heart's Medical Group on Mobile Highway has already treated a few folks for the virus.

Gahagan says a common question he gets from his patients -- how can you tell if you have the flu or a cold??

They're caused by different viruses, but can have similar symptoms.
Gahagan says colds usually cause discomfort in a patients' head.
(("runny nose, cough, sinus congestion."))

For the flu -- their whole body is affected.
(("fever, muscle aches, vomiting. Diarrhea."))
   
A cold can creep in over a couple of days.  The flu presents within hours and is much more intense.

Gahagan says this year's flu vaccine covers two types of influenza a strains .A and one B strain.
   
Whether you get it through a shot or mist -- Gahagan says you're not immediately protected.

(("It takes about two weeks for immunization to be fully propagated."))
   
Gahagan says the shot and mist are equally effective -- but the mist may make you feel sick temporarily.

(("What will happen is your immune system reacts locally and the upper air passages and you get some stuffy nose and runny nose from the vaccine.  This does not mean you have the flu.  It's impossible to get the flu from the nasal vaccine or the shot."))
   
Gahagan says if you get the flu -- once you're better, you should still get vaccinated to cover you from other strains the rest of the season.

(("I've actually seen on the rapid flu test somebody had A and B at the same time."))
       
Gahagan says senior citizens and children are the most vulnerable to flu -- if a child hasn't ever had a flu shot, they'll need two vaccines a month a part to protect them..

Untreated -- a cold can turn into a sinus or ear infection.  Gahagan says flu can cause Bronchitis or Pneumonia even death.

He says researchers at the Center for Disease Control study flu strains year round.
(("They have a whole task force dedicated to determining what components of the vaccine should be included that year and they base it on population studies and what they see overseas as well."))
   
For more health related news, head to our website and click on the "Health" tab. 

HEALTHWATCH: Flu vs Cold


Advertise with us!

Related Stories

ABC National Health News

Escaped Ebola Patients Found as Outbreak Death Toll Tops 1,200
WHO reported an additional 113 new Ebola cases in two days.
Doctors Blast Rob Schneider's Parkinson's Drug Twitter Rant
Comedian Rob Schneider’s Twitter rant blaming Parkinson’s drugs for Robin Williams’ death has highlighted the delicate balance between the risks and benefits of the prescription drugs millions of people take every day.
9 Best and Worst Ingredients for Your Sandwich
Here are nine of the best and worst fillings to consider, along with a few tips to prevent sandwich calorie overkill.
Peanut, Almond Butter Recalled for Salmonella Risk
Peanut, almond butter from Hain Celestial unit recalled due to salmonella risk
USDA: Cost to Raise Child up Slightly to $245,340
Get ready for sticker shock: USDA says average cost to raise a child up slightly to $245,340
Ebola Patient Reunites with Husband Through Isolation Glass at Emory
Nancy Writebol saw her husband for the first time since her evacuation from Liberia.
Cancer Drug Tops List of Promising Baldness Treatments
Ruxolitinib reversed baldness caused by alopecia in a small study.
Iowa Students to Wear Heart Rate Monitors
Students going back to school in Dubuque, Iowa are going to find it a little harder to slack off in gym.
Why This Teen Can't Stop Eating: Life With Prader-Willi Syndrome
Prader-Willi syndrome, which strikes only 1 in 15,000 people, can cause learning issues, muscles weakness, a slow metabolism and an insatiable appetite.
CDC Scientist Kept Quiet About Flu Blunder, Investigation Finds
Internal investigation finds CDC scientist was mum for a month about flu virus accident in lab
Synthetic Pot Prompts State of Emergency in NH
New Hampshire officials have declared a state of emergency after a string of synthetic pot overdoses in Manchester and Concord.
Meet the Window Washers That Transform Into Superheroes for Sick Kids
Pediatric patients delighted to meet rappelling superheroes at Mayo Clinic.
How Unanswered Questions Can Fuel Anger in Ferguson
Protests continue five days after the shooting death of an unarmed teen.
8 Surprising Effects of Obesity
Obesity ups the risk of common cancers, a new study found.
Cancer Lessons I Learned From a Fictional Teenage Boy
That love scene from "The Fault in Our Stars" is so intense.
How Hotter Summers Are Putting Swimmers at Risk
As families flock to pools and lakes to cool off, experts are warning about a risky consequence of climate change: waterborne disease.
Watch: Synthetic Pot 'Smacked!' Prompts State of Emergency in NH
The marijuana-like product has been blamed for a string of overdoses in the state.
Full Episode: NY Med 8/14: Doctors on the Frontline
Doctors battle to save lives in one of the world’s busiest cities.
10 Weight Loss Mistakes Most Women Make
Dropping pounds boils down to a simple-sounding formula: burn more calories than you take in; eat less and move more. But anybody who has ever cut calories and ramped up an exercise plan in an effort to slim down knows it's a lot harder than it sounds. All dieters inevitably make mistakes along the way—and most of the time they don't even realize it. Here are the 10 flubs that everyone makes when they're trying to shed fat.
9 Worst Eye Care Mistakes You're Making
Here’s what not to do to make sure your vision stays healthy well into your golden years.
6 Ways to Make Losing Weight Less of a Downer
Let’s face it: Trying to eat healthier and move more can sometimes feel like a drag. Change your mindset with these six tricks.
7 Odd Reasons You Bruise Easily
There are plenty of reasons for easy bruising, the discoloration caused by a trauma that ruptured blood vessels just under the skin. Check out the surprising explanations behind your sore spots and learn which ones are harmless and which ones need attention.
 

Enrollment for healthcare exchanges as part of healthcare reform begins October 1 in states where exchanges will be set up. Expect special reports each week from us about what you need to know about 'Obamacare' and the ongoing political fight about its future.

To Learn More About Health Care Reform, Click Here

Navigation

Sacred Heart Health System - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cardiology - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cancer Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Orthopedics - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vein Institute - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
The Endoscopy Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vascular & Interventional - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Stand Up Open MRI - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Advertise with us!

Tonight on ABC 3

06:30PM Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
07:00PM The Middle
07:30PM The Goldbergs
08:00PM Modern Family
08:31PM The Goldbergs
09:00PM Motive
10:00PM Channel 3 News

Complete ABC 3 Schedule