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Flu season preparedness and safety measures

The coming winter season also brings the return of colds and the flu. Are you sick and wondering if you have a cold or the flu? Read on to get more details!

Is it possible to differentiate between a cold and the flu?

Basically, while both are viral, the flu is much more severe than a cold. The follwing table compares the symptoms of the two infections.

Symptoms*FluCold
FeverCommon

Sudden onset

Temperature between 38°C and 40°C
(entre 100, 4°F et 104°F)
Rare
CoughCommon with sudden onsetCommon, but light to moderate with expectoration (phlegm)
Headache
Common and often severe
Rare
Aches and pains
Common and often severe
Rare
FatigueCommon and severe
Duration: A few days or more
Common, but mild
Nausea and vomitingCommon, but mildRare
Stuffy and runny noseRareCommon
Sneezing
RareCommon
Mal de gorgeCommon
Common

How are cold and flu viruses transmitted?

These viruses are highly contagious. They can be transmitted through direct contact (e.g., a kiss), indirect contact (e.g., touching a contaminated doorknob) or through the air (when an infected person coughs).

How can I prevent the transmission of colds and the flu to my loved ones?

  • Effective handwashing: Good handwashing is an effective and proven prevention method.  Ideally, soap and warm water with a sufficiently long friction should be used. Ensure that you wash everywhere, including under the nails.  Alcohol-based leave-in disinfectants are an effective alternative, but since alcohol is drying, it should not be used too often.
  • Cough or sneeze while covering your mouth and nose: this will ensure that viruses are not propagated into the air.
  • Avoid contact with vulnerable people: young children, the elderly or people with chronic diseases are at higher risk of contracting colds and flu. Furthermore, they have a higher risk of complications. Postpone visits if possible if you are sick.
  • Influenza vaccination: There is no vaccine for colds, but there is an annual flu vaccine. It is developed each year with the strains most likely to be virulent during the winter period.  Many at-risk people could get their flu shot for free. Talk to your pharmacist to find out more about the flu vaccine.

Can a cold or the flu be treated with antibiotics?

Since these infections are caused by viruses, antibiotics, which attack bacteria, have no effect. Symptoms can be alleviated with medication, but usually the infection will resolve itself in about 7 days. Your pharmacist can help you choose a treatment to relieve your symptoms. Don't hesitate ask your pharmacist about tips to warding off a cold or the flu, especially if you are already taking other medications.

The drugs and pharmaceutical services featured on the familiprix.com website are offered by pharmacists who own the affiliated pharmacies at Familiprix. The information contained on the familiprix.com site is for informational purposes only and does not in any way replace the advice and advice of your pharmacist or any other health professional. Always consult a health professional before taking or discontinuing medication or making any other decision. Familiprix inc. and the proprietary pharmacists affiliated with Familiprix do not engage in any way by making this information available on this website.