Cold and flu facts

SOURCE: CHPA Educational Foundation, www.KnowYourOTCs.org

When you have a common cold or the flu, you may experience several symptoms at the same time — nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, fever, headache, body aches, sore throat, cough, and chest congestion. So how do you pick an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine to treat your symptoms? It’s important to only use medicines that treat the symptoms you have.

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Cold and flu myths

By Danielle Braff

It’s the time of year when you’re either worried about getting the cold and flu or you’ve got it. Despite what your mother-in-law, friends and the Internet might say, here are some facts about cold and flu causes and cures.

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Fever: How high is too high?

By Melissa Erickson

For parents, especially new parents, a child’s fever can be a frightening thing. When is a fever cause for concern, and when is it just part of a natural childhood illness?

Every child will eventually run a fever, which is simply a rise in a child’s body temperature, said Dr. Rupal Gupta, a pediatrician with Nemours and medical editor for KidsHealth.org.

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How is a summer cold different than a winter cold?

By Danielle Braff

You expect a cold in the winter, but when a common cold hits you in the spring or summer months, it’s an extra level of torture.

And if you think this warm-weather cold feels a little different from the winter version, it’s not your imagination.

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Immune-boosting foods

By Danielle Braff

It’s been a long winter. And you’re still getting cold after cold. It’s time to give your immune system a boost.

Some foods that have been scientifically proven to boost your immunity:

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‘Man flu’: Can men actually feel worse than women

By Danielle Braff

“Man flu” has become a silly term to describe how men seem to have a lower tolerance than women do for being sick, but there may be some truth to it, according to a recent study published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

In that study, adult male mice had more symptoms of illness than females did when they were given the same bacteria, causing symptoms similar to the flu.

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Infants and the flu

By Danielle Braff

Anyone younger than 6 months can’t get a flu shot. Baby immune systems aren’t as good at warding off illnesses as they are when they get older, and children younger than 2 are at risk for serious complications if they get the flu.

The flu is dreadful for everyone, but it can be life-threatening for infants.

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Safe cold medications for diabetes

By Danielle Braff

You’ve got diabetes and the common cold. But don’t grab that cold medication so quickly: While small doses of medications with sugar are usually OK, you should ask your pharmacist if there are sugar-free options, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

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