If you are feeling a little under the weather, it can be easy to assume that you are suffering from the flu. However, many people mistake the much less serious common cold for a case of the flu during the Winter months. The cold tends to be a milder respiratory illness that lasts for a few days, but the flu can span several weeks and may lead to more serious health concerns such as pneumonia requiring hospitalization.
The only way to know for certain is to have a flu test performed, which we offer here at Vaughn Pharmacy. However, there are a few characteristics that could help you decide if it really is the flu, or just a cold.
Compare the Symptoms
One of the best ways to tell the difference between a common cold and the flu is to compare some of the most common symptoms. For example, if you are suffering from the flu it is likely that you will experience a high fever lasting for several days. However, fever is very rare in the common cold. Similarly, the flu usually brings with it intense headaches and severe aches and pains all over the body. With a cold, the aches and pains are usually fairly mild and headaches are rare. Catching a cold is often accompanied by a stuffy nose, sore throat, and sneezing. A sore throat and cough may also occur during a bout of the flu, but nasal congestion is much less common.
If your symptoms seem more characteristic of the flu, one of the pharmacists at Vaughn Pharmacy can carry out a flu test to confirm for sure if you are in fact infected.
Knowing When to Seek Medical Attention
If you have a cold it is normally fairly easy to administer self-care at home without any medical intervention. Over the counter medication is effective and you can lessen the spread of the germs with frequent hand washing. However, flu is a little more serious and usually needs treatment from a healthcare professional. If you are feeling like you might have the flu and experience any of the following symptoms it is important to get treatment:
- Persistent fever that lasts for longer than 3 days may indicate a bacterial infection.
- If swallowing becomes painful it is possible that you have developed Strep Throat.
- A persistent cough lasting more than a couple of weeks may result in bronchitis.
At Vaughn Pharmacy, we can test for flu and strep throat. If the test is positive, we are also able to prescribe the appropriate medication without the need for a visit to the doctor. However, if you experience any of the following than it is important to seek emergency care:
- Severe Chest Pain
- Severe Headaches
- Shortness of Breath
- Dizziness and/or Confusion
- Persistent Vomiting
Remember, we always have a pharmacist at the counter who can handle your queries so if you are unsure about your symptoms we will be happy to help wherever possible.
Your Hometown Pharmacy Since 1966
Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!