Winter equals colds and the flu

Posted at 11:13 AM, Jan 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-13 11:28:45-05

As you are standing out in the cold for a Powerball ticket just remember, it's that time of year again.

Cold and flu season has arrived and it is back with a vengeance!

I should know. I just made two trips to see the doctor because I have been under the weather (pun totally intended)!

Many people can't tell the difference between having a cold or having the flu but there is a difference between the two. When self-diagnosing the flu, use the acronym FACTS.

The "F" stands for Fever. Fever would be very high with the flu but absent with a cold.

The "A stands for Aches. Aches that occur right away and not days after already feeling sick are another sign that you have the flu and not just a cold.

The "C" stands for Chills. Because chills can be the result of a fever, which is a sign not associated with colds, this symptom helps distinguish between a cold and the flu.

The "T" stands for Tiredness. Like aches and pains, a sudden onset of fatigue is more likely associated with the flu than a cold.

There are symptoms that can occur in both the cold and the flu, such as tiredness and aches. Just remember timing and intensity are the important factors that differentiate between the two.

You may need tissues close by if you have the flu but sneezing is more likely to mean you have a cold. If you have a stuffy or runny nose that means you probably have a cold rather than the flu.

Even if you have a really bad cold, it won't feel as bad as having the flu.

Also, symptoms of the flu will keep you in the bed but cold symptoms are mainly a nuisance and uncomfortable.

A cold can be treated with over-the-counter medicine but the flu may need to be treated with doctor prescribed medication.