Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses, but they’re caused by different viruses. Because they have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them. In general, flu symptoms are more intense. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infection or hospitalization.
Warning signs of the flu include troubled breathing, chest pain, high fever and dehydration. People experiencing these warning signs should obtain medical care right away.
Should I Go to the Emergency Room?
If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. If possible, seek the advice of your doctor before visiting the emergency room. Going to the emergency room when you don’t have the flu may cause you to catch it from people who do have it.
Antiviral Drugs and Antibiotics: What’s the Difference?
Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines that fight against flu viruses in your body. When treatment is started within two days of becoming sick, antiviral drugs can lessen fever and flu symptoms and shorten the time of sickness. They may also reduce certain complications, such as ear infections in children, respiratory issues requiring antibiotics and hospitalization.
Antibiotics differ from antiviral drugs in that they fight against bacterial infections. They do not work on viruses, such as colds and flu, even if mucus is thick, yellow or green. When antibiotics aren’t needed, they will not help you and the side effects could still hurt you.
It is important to know the difference between antiviral drugs and antibiotics and to only take medication exactly as prescribed. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, reactions from antibiotics cause one out of five medication-related visits to the emergency department. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
If you believe you have symptoms of flu or are experiencing a negative reaction to medication, Manatee Urgent Care can help. We have locations in Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota. No appointment is necessary, and most insurance plans are accepted.
Visit manateeurgentcare. com for full details on our emergency care services.