Cold and Flu Season: How to Avoid it and What to Expect

Runny nose? Sore throat? Excessive coughing? That sounds like the flu or cold has caught up to you. As summer comes to an end, the flu and cold season arrive in town. These diseases tend to start in October and can last up to April, starting an outbreak of sickness worldwide. The worst part? East Tech students can be easily infected and spread the viruses easily throughout the busy school, infecting you and your family. Here’s how to avoid the diseases and what you should expect from them. 

What to expect

The common cold and the flu have similar attributes but are two different diseases, which may make it hard to find the differences in them. What you should expect from both viruses are stuffy noses, sore throats, and common coughing. Young children, older adults, and people with weak immune systems are at higher risk of getting infected. 

Symptoms Flu Cold
Exposure of Symptoms Sudden  Gradual
Fever Usual Rare
Chills Common Uncommon
Aches Usual None or Mild
Muscle Weakness Common None or Mild
Sneezing  Sometimes Common
Stuffy and Runny Nose Sometimes Common
Sore Throat  Sometimes Common
Chest Pain and Coughing Common  None or Mild
Headaches Common Rare
Duration 1-2 weeks 7-10 days

How to Avoid it

The best way to avoid the flu is by getting your flu shots as soon as possible. The more you wait, the higher the chance of you getting the flu disease already. Doctors recommend getting the vaccine from mid to end of October. If you wait beyond October the risk of exposure of the flu in your area increases, making it easier to catch it before you get the vaccine shot. Although there is no vaccine for common colds, there are many ways to keep yourself safe from the cold and the flu.

  • Wash your hands after touching any public communal surfaces, frequently.
  • Avoid sharing food with sick people.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Clean communal surfaces each day, such as doorknobs, light switches, etc. 
  • Keep your hands away from your face, mouth, and nose. 
  • Stay away from sick people if possible.
  • Take vitamin C supplements to boost your immune system.

Not even the safest and cleanest community in your neighborhood are flu and cold free. For the sake of other students and those around you, stay home and do not attend school or work if you are sick. This will limit the spreading of germs and protect people around you.