Staying Healthy This Cold and Flu Season

Published on October 01, 2018

Photo of family home sick with a cold.

Staying Healthy This Cold and Flu Season

It is that time of year again and no matter where you go someone is sick and coughing. You may find yourself wondering, what is the difference between a cold and the flu, what can you do to prevent it, and when should you go to the doctor?

While the flu and a cold are two different viruses, they have many of the same symptoms that overlap. Sometimes, it can be hard to distinguish what you have. Here is a list of potential symptoms to be on the lookout for.

Cold symptoms

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Sore/ body aches
  • Mild tiredness

Flu symptoms

  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Moderate to high fever
  • Chills
  • Severe fatigue
  • Headache

How to Avoid Getting Sick

There are many different ways to avoid getting sick, here are some helpful tips to get you through the season healthy and happy.

1. Get a flu shot

Everyone in the family should get a flu shot. This is the easiest and best thing to do to avoid getting the flu.

2. Bundle up and stay warm

Warmer body temperatures can help prevent spreading different viruses. Being under-dressed could lead to you becoming ill.

3. Wash your hands

Wash your hands frequently. Use soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Or, clean with alcohol-based gel or foam.

4. Get enough sleep

You need plenty of sleep to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape this time of year. You should be getting an average of eight to 10 hours of sleep a night.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth

Use a tissue when touching your face to help prevent germs from gaining easy access to entry points.

Get Cold or Flu Help at Bronson

If you start experiencing flu-like symptoms (including fever, chills, cough or shortness of breath), you should stay home and drink plenty of fluids, get lots of rest, avoid contact with other people and take one of the following next steps:

  1. Call a Bronson Care Advisor at (269) 341-7788
  2. Do a BronsonConnect Video Visit
  3. Contact your primary care provider via telephone or through Bronson MyChart

Because flu and COVID-19 symptoms are so similar, it is important you self-isolate for at least 14 days, outside from seeking medical care. If you live with others, even pets, you should try to find an area of the home, away from others, where you can quarantine.

Need to get your flu shot?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age six months and older get a flu vaccination. The vaccine is available at various Bronson locations. Often times, flu vaccines are free with many health insurance plans, Medicaid and Medicare. However, fees vary based on the location, type of flu vaccine and your insurance coverage. Click here to find a Bronson location near you offering flu vaccines.