Aches, pains, stuffy nose, and watery eyes. A cold and the flu share so many of the same symptoms that it can be difficult to tell them apart. However, medical experts say that one of the key identifiers for flu is the sudden onset of a high fever.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu season in the United States usually ranges from November through March, and sometimes lasts into early spring. Colds crop up at roughly the same time and may overlap with allergy seasons in the spring and fall.
Tens of millions of adults and children succumb to flu every year in the United States alone. New antiviral drugs can help to limit symptoms and shorten the flu's duration. However, because the drugs must be given early to be most effective, a correct diagnosis is critical.
While an accurate and user-friendly thermometer is essential to have on hand during the cold and flu season, it's important to stock the home with some other useful supplies. The following products can make a sick child or adult feel more comfortable and get better faster.
â¢Fever reducer. Many doctors suggest a fever should generally be allowed to run its course, as it's the body's natural way of fighting foreign invaders, like bacteria and viruses.
â¢Fluids. Fever can cause dehydration due to the higher body temperatures causing a greater fluid loss than at normal temperatures. Also, vomiting and diarrhea can greatly contribute to dehydration. Therefore ample fluids are needed to replenish the fluids lost such as drinking water and juice, and especially chicken soup.
â¢Vapor rubs. It is no longer recommended to give many cold and flu products to children to alleviate congestion symptoms. Menthol vapor rubs can help open up air passages and ease coughing. A spoonful of honey for anyone over the age of one can also soothe the throat and calm coughs.
â¢Neti pot. This small device is used to clear out nasal passages with soothing warm water. Saline nasal sprays may also provide some relief.
â¢Humidifier. Doctors recommend steamy showers for helping to reduce congestion. Running a room humidifier can also combat dry air indoors and make breathing easier.