Is it a cold or the flu?

Check your symptoms and then do what you can to prevent the spread of germs.

The cooler weather is approaching and it’s important to protect yourself from germs so that you don’t get sick. However, it’s also important to understand the difference between colds and flus so you can take care of yourself. Michigan State University Extension recommends that you do what you can to limit your risk of getting sick, even though it can’t always be avoided.

First, you need to understand the difference between the flu and a cold. The chart below shows that although the symptoms are similar they are more severe in the case of the flu versus the common cold. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can provide more specific information about the flu and colds

Flu Symptoms

Cold Symptoms


Little or no fever

Body aches

Some or no body aches

Extreme tiredness

Mild tiredness

Dry, often intense cough

Mild cough

To prevent the spread of the cold and flu germs you can follow these steps.

  • Wash your hands and wash often. The best way to clean your hand is to use soap and warm water, but if that’s not an option hand sanitizer can be an option. Make sure that all of the adults and kids in your home are washing their hands regularly.
  • Cover your cough and your sneeze. Sneeze or cough into your elbow or a tissue, tossing the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid contact with your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • If you are sick, stay home. The less interaction with others provides time to rest and also prevents germs from spreading.
  • Avoid contact with individuals who are sick, or at least, limit your contact.

Disinfect and take care. Germs can be found on commonly touched surfaces. Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, telephones, and computer keyboards. To further lessen your chances of illness, be sure to take good care of your body. You can do this by eating healthy meals, being physical activity, and getting plenty of rest. Making sure germs don’t spread at home or work and also doing what you can do keep your body healthy will help you fight germs that you will come in contact with.

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