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While the holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and loved ones – passing around the turkey or passing each other gifts – it’s also the time to pass a cold or even the flu to someone if you catch either of those.

It’s not easy to determine what the flu season is going to be like until it hits. A couple of years ago, it hit the United States quite hard. This past season, it was a little less severe, but still considered deadly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as it was estimated that more than 50,000 people across the country died as a result.

According to the CDC, both the cold and flu are similar because they are both respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. However, a cold is usually less severe than the flu. The symptoms for both can be the same, you may suffer from a runny nose and congestion. While a cold is usually milder in its symptoms, the flu can cause some serious and potentially deadly issues in some people.

With the flu, you may suffer from a series of other ailments you may not have with a cold, such as body aches, extreme fatigue, fever, chills, and possibly vomiting or diarrhea. The cold is usually gradual, but the flu can be quick. Some people get over the flu just as quickly, but others could get even sicker, with some developing more serious problems such as pneumonia.

According to health care providers, pneumonia becomes serious when it settles in the lungs. Children, the elderly, and people with underlying medical conditions can be susceptible. Unfortunately, if it goes untreated it can get worse and it could eventually become fatal.

Banner Urgent Care in Casa Grande at 1676 E. McMurray Blvd, Ste 1, is available if people are suffering from a severe cold, or if they think they may have the flu. However, if your symptoms of either develop into something even worse and you are having trouble breathing or having seizures, call 9-1-1 immediately. Banner Casa Grande Medical Center’s Emergency room is available for those who may be suffering from more severe cases, like the flu or pneumonia.

If you are looking at not getting sick this season, prevention for you and your loved ones is going to be important. In addition to good hygiene practices like washing or sanitizing your hands frequently, getting enough rest, drinking plenty of liquids, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and seeing your doctor regularly, other ways to prevent getting sick include:

  • Coughing or sneezing in the crook of your arm to prevent the spread of germs from one person to another. If you feel a cough or sneeze coming on, use your arm as guard. If you can’t do that, try to cover your nose and mouth with something so not to spread germs.
  • Getting a flu vaccination. While flu shots are not 100% effective against the flu, medical experts agree that the flu vaccine is still one of the best defenses when it comes to preventing the flu or helping people recover faster should they get the flu.

The CDC still reported a very active 2018-2019 flu season across the country. From Oct. 1, 2018 to May 4, 2019, the CDC estimates:

  • 4 million to 42.9 million people got the flu
  • 3 million to 20.1 million were treated for the flu by a health care provider
  • 531,000 to 674,000 were hospitalized for the flu
  • 36,400 to 61,200 died as a result of the flu

So, if you think you may have the flu, the CDC says these are the symptoms to look out for:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Some may suffer from vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)

If you think you may be suffering from a cold, the CDC says these are the most common symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Headaches
  • Body aches

Should you get sick from either a cold or the flu, it’s important to also check with your regular doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms. Your doctor should have your complete medical information and can advise how you should best be treated for cold or flu symptoms.

For more information about the services provided at Banner Urgent Care, and to find a location near you, please visit www.BannerHealth.com/urgentcare. For more information about the services provided at Banner Casa Grande Medical Center, please visit www.BannerHealth.com/casagrande.

 

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