What to ask your doctor about colds and the flu - adult; Influenza - what to ask your doctor - adult; Upper respiratory infection - what to ask your doctor - adult; URI - what to ask your doctor - adult; H1N1 (Swine) flu - what to ask your doctor - adult
Many different germs, called viruses, cause colds. Symptoms of the common cold include:
The flu is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by the influenza virus.
Many flu symptoms are similar to those of a common cold. Flu symptoms most often include fever, muscle aches, and fatigue. Symptoms can also include vomiting and diarrhea. Many of these symptoms are the same as for COVID-19.
Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of your cold or flu.
What are the symptoms of a cold? What are the symptoms of the flu? How can I tell them apart?
Can I make other people sick? How can I prevent that? What should I do if I have a young child at home? How about somebody who is older?
When will I start to feel better?
What should I eat or drink? How much?
What medicines can I buy to help with my symptoms?
Will antibiotics make my symptoms go away faster?
Are there other medicines that can make the flu go away faster?
How can I keep from getting a cold or the flu?
Barrett B, Turner RB. The common cold. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 337.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine. www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/keyfacts.htm. Updated November 18, 2021. Accessed March 31, 2022.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Flu: what to do if you get sick. www.cdc.gov/flu/treatment/takingcare.htm. Updated August 31, 2021. Accessed March 31, 2022.
Ison MG, Hayden FG. Influenza. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 340.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 10/23/2021
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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