The symptoms of the cold usually last about two to five days and include runny nose, sore throat, cough, and nasal congestion. Influenza usually causes cough, generalized aches, fever, loss of appetite, and sore throat. The upper respiratory tract symptoms (stuffy nose, etc) are more common in the cold, while the generalized symptoms (body aches, etc) and cough are more common with the flu.
They are both spread by droplets in the air produced by coughing and sneezing, or from contaminated surfaces. Cold temperatures tend to worsen symptoms, but it has not been proven to increase transmission of the viruses.
Protect yourself and your family by using these tips:
- Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly and often.
- Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizer handy.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
- Stay home from work if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid large crowds of people where viruses can spread easily.
- Clean germ-spreading surfaces like purses or gloves.
- Eat well, exercise and get enough rest.
Proper hand cleaning guards against and limits the spread of many illnesses. Viruses can live on your hands for up to five minutes and they can live on hard surfaces – like counter tops and telephones – for up to two days. Wash hands for at least 15 seconds.
Hand sanitizer needs to be at least 60 per cent alcohol to be effective. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are as good as soap and water to clean your hands. But if your hands are visibly dirty, wash with soap and water.
Cough into your upper sleeve if you don’t have a tissue. The droplets that come out when we cough or sneeze can carry the flu virus and land on other people or surfaces.
When you’re not feeling well, the best thing you can do for your own health and the health of your co-workers is to stay home.
The flu virus usually enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth, and your hands touch objects and surfaces that may have viruses on them, including the flu virus.
This might be a challenge when you’re shopping and socializing during the holidays. Stay aware of your health and the health of others when you’re out and about. Avoid people who are sneezing and coughing and wash your hands regularly.
These items come in contact with contaminated surfaces when you set them down on areas like tables and countertops, spreading germs and viruses. Wipe these surfaces with disinfecting cleaner regularly.
Keeping your immune system strong will lessen your chances of getting sick. Eat well, exercise regularly and get enough sleep to keep your health in top shape.