Treating Colds, the Flu & COVID-19 at Lake Conway Clinic

Treating Colds, the Flu & COVID-19 at Lake Conway Clinic

In everyday life, we come into contact with many different types of viruses capable of causing disease. The common cold is often spread through droplets in the air when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes, or talks. Healthy people can inhale these droplets and get infected.

Depending on the pathogen, the person’s age, and state of health, the first symptoms of the disease may appear within a few hours or days after exposure. Like flu and COVID-19, colds have a rapid onset of symptoms. Most people start to feel weak, tired, and less productive. Another symptom is an itchy throat that quickly progresses to soreness and pain. Colds usually go away on their own after 7-10 days without specific medical treatment.

What is the Difference Between a Cold, the Flu, and COVID-19?

Until recently, a sore throat ranked among the most common Omicron symptoms. However, you should not try to identify the cause of the infection only by the symptoms. Each new COVID variant may be completely different from previous strains. For that reason, doctors recommend COVID-19 Testing if a person has cold or flu-like symptoms.

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Common Symptoms of Colds, the Flu, and COVID-19

  • fever
  • headache
  • body aches, muscle, and joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • sleep disorders or, drowsiness
  • nasal congestion or stuffy nose, sneezing
  • sore throat
  • hoarseness
  • chills
  • watery eyes, eye pain
  • loss of smell or taste (more frequent with COVID-19)

The diseases can cause mild to severe symptoms. However, they may also differ from person to person. In some cases, it is possible for the disease to occur without a fever. 

When Should You See a Doctor?

Common colds usually require minimal medical attention. Although it is not a serious illness, complications can sometimes arise. If you have any of the following symptoms, contact your doctor.

  • Your symptoms last for more than 10 days. Most cold symptoms typically get better within a week. If you do not feel better in 10 days, or if your symptoms improve and then suddenly get worse again, you should see your doctor.
  • You have trouble breathing. It includes shortness of breath, wheezing during inspiration and expiration.
  • Diarrhea, vomiting. These conditions can lead to dehydration, which manifests itself in less frequent urination, dark urine, dry mouth.
  • You have a persistent fever that does not improve with medication.
  • Headache or abdominal pain.
  • Earache.
  • Painful urination.
  • Impaired coordination.
  • You are worried or concerned about your symptoms 

We provide an individualized treatment plan for each patient depending on the clinical presentation, general health, and possible contraindications. 

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How to Manage Colds, the Flu, and COVID-19 at Home?

  • drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and thin out mucus
  • add moisture to the air to make breathing easier
  • consider walking if you feel good
  • use an analgesic or antipyretic if necessary
  • suck on lozenges for a sore throat or eat ice cream

Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Vaccination helps reduce the risk of illness or get a milder illness. On average, out of every 100 people who have the vaccine, up to 70-98 get protected. And even when the disease does occur among people who are fully vaccinated, the severity of the disease is less. The vaccine itself is not capable of causing illness, but it allows the immune system to remember foreign cells of influenza viruses and destroy them if you are exposed to them in the future.

The CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend annual flu vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older (as long as a patient has no other contraindications). Flu vaccines are especially important for people who are at high risk from complications.

  • adults 65 years and older
  • pregnant women and young children
  • people at risk for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases
  • patients with chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, HIV
  • cancer patients 

COVID-19 Vaccines

Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent contracting COVID-19 and developing complications. A study published in August 2021 shows that unvaccinated people are two times more likely to be reinfected with COVID-19 than those who were previously infected and vaccinated. Therefore, booster shots are recommended for everyone age 12 and older (if more than 5 months have passed since the primary vaccination).

Three vaccines are approved for use in the United States to prevent COVID-19: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen.

Similar to other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine can cause the body to have an immune response. The most commonly reported side effects include fever, headache, fatigue, and pain at the injection site. It is important to note that the reaction produced by the body is natural, and it will last no more than a couple of days.

Prevention of Colds, the Flu, and COVID-19

  • Wash your hands. Do not touch your face and mucous membranes with dirty hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Get enough sleep and eat right.
  • Try to get in a daily walk (at least 30 minutes a day).
  • Use antiseptics.
  • Avoid smoking electronic and regular cigarettes.
  • Reduce alcohol Use.
  • Get the flu vaccine on time

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More Information about COVID-19