Although colds, fevers, viruses, and the flu share some symptoms, there is a difference between them. At Xpress Wellness Urgent Care, we can help diagnose the difference and help you get well again quickly at one of our several locations across Oklahoma and Kansas.
The common cold is a widespread, usually mild virus infecting the upper respiratory tract, primarily affecting the nose and throat.
How to Tell a Cold From the Flu
Common symptoms include congestion, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore or itchy throat, and headaches. Symptoms can make themselves known up to two days before the cold takes hold, which may then last three to seven days. If you are experiencing a stuffy nose, the nasal congestion is almost always the cold, not the flu. If your cold seems more extreme and lasts longer than usual, you may have the flu. The common cold is one of the most common ailments that affect people in the United States; it is estimated that Americans suffer approximately 1 billion colds per year. Despite being extremely contagious, it is usually self-treatable and nothing too serious.
When to Consider Urgent Care
Last year, 80,000 Americans passed away from the influenza virus. Commonly known as the flu, this virus is preventable with vaccination and proper treatment. At Xpress Wellness, we can help keep you and your loved ones healthy regardless of if you need a flu shot or serious medical attention.
What is the Flu?
The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to very severe symptoms. Symptoms include:
In some instances, flu symptoms may also involve vomiting or diarrhea. This is more often experienced by children but can happen to adults, too.
How Does the Flu Spread?
The flu virus spreads by airborne droplets, touching hard surfaces, or touching the nose and face. The flu virus can survive on hard surfaces for 48 hours and lasts 5-10 days. If you are experiencing a stuffy nose, the nasal congestion is almost always the cold, not the flu.
Treating the Flu at Home
People with the flu should stay home. It also is important to wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Annual vaccinations are also important because influenza is unpredictable. Flu viruses are constantly changing and the immunity gained from vaccinations declines over time. However, scientists are able to predict which strain of the virus will most likely occur and develop a vaccine to fight against the flu.
Consider Urgent Care If
If you are experiencing an uncharacteristically high fever, dizziness, extreme cold symptoms, and even waves of nausea, seek help at any of our Oklahoma or Kansas urgent care clinics today by appointment or walk-in today.
Although fever may seem uncomfortable at the time, remember it is your immune system’s method of preventing a virus from spreading. A fever is an increase in the normal body temperature. It is not an illness itself, but rather an indicator of infection or foreign substance in the body like viruses, bacteria, drugs, or toxins. A fever is usually a beneficial response as it helps to fight foreign bodies. If you are experiencing an unnaturally high fever, seek help immediately at an Xpress Wellness Urgent Care Clinic.
How To Tell If You Have a Fever
Usually, we can touch the forehead of a person who has a fever and feel that they are warmer than normal. However, this isn’t an accurate way to determine if someone has a fever or not. Be sure to get a reliable thermometer, and check the temperature orally, rectally, or under the arm (auxiliary). We recommend seeking urgent care if you have a temperature of 103 F or higher. While 98.5 degrees is considered normal, some individuals may run warmer or cooler temperatures that are non-threatening. For example, a low-grade fever may actually represent a different set of illnesses than something that gives a high fever.
Managing a Fever
If you are experiencing a fever, remember to drink more fluids. When the body has a fever it sweats more and has a higher chance of becoming dehydrated. Drinking more fluids when we’re sick helps to moderate body temperature. If you become dehydrated from fever, see Xpress Wellness so we can treat you properly.
If Your Child Has a Fever
Keep in mind children tend to get higher temperatures than grown-ups. Their temperatures fluctuate more and if they do not seem uncomfortable—they are running a temperature but contentedly playing with toys—then there should not be a need to worry. Children may also get a fever after receiving vaccinations or while teething.
Seek an Experienced Healthcare Professional if
We’re Here To Help
With Xpress Wellness, our urgent care clinics are equipped to treat extreme fevers. If you or someone you love is experiencing any of these fever signs or symptoms in a way they feel is abnormal, seek help at any of our Oklahoma or Kansas Xpress Wellness urgent care clinics by appointment or walk-in today.
Viruses can be spread in many ways, including by air, insects, or some form of physical contact. Once inside the body, a virus typically causes an immune response.
What is a Virus?
Viruses are small infectious agents that replicate inside the cells of other living organisms, like humans. Viruses actually contain genetic material that accounts for their ability to both infect and replicate inside our bodies. The typical virus is so small, it is difficult to see even with a microscope.
How To Know If You Have A Virus
A viral infection can take place in many different parts of the body; some viruses are mainly in the intestine, while others prefer the lungs and airways. With a viral infection, you usually have a fever, but other complaints can range from abdominal pain, diarrhea, coughing, and shortness of breath. The most contagious time for any virus is before you actually get sick. There's usually a period of anywhere from a few days to even a week with some viruses before you even feel the first symptoms where you're actually starting to develop the virus and develop the immune response in your own body.
Treating a Virus
Unfortunately, there isn't any effective medication to cure a viral infection. Our body’s immune responses will usually eliminate the infection and protect us from future infections. Vaccines can be used to create and acquire immunity, but unfortunately, there are still viruses that are able to resist immune responses and ultimately become chronic conditions such as AIDS or Hepatitis. Antibiotics aren't always effective either because those focus on bacteria, not viruses. Ultimately, it may be best to come into Xpress Wellness for an appointment if you feel you have a virus.
Consider Urgent Care if
If you are experiencing high fever, difficulty breathing, or other severe symptoms, please come in for an appointment. Seek help at any Xpress Wellness urgent care clinic in Oklahoma or Kansas by appointment or walk-in today.