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Monday, November 07, 2005

DHS's Seasonal Flu Resource Site

Is available at:

What to Do for Colds and Flu

The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, is part of the U. S. government. FDA makes sure medicines for illnesses like colds and flu work and are safe.

Is It a Cold or the Flu? For Your Safety, Know the Difference

A cold and the flu (also called influenza) are alike in many ways. But the flu can sometimes lead to more serious problems, like the lung disease pneumonia.

A stuffy nose, sore throat, and sneezing are usually signs of a cold. Tiredness, fever, headache, and major aches and pains probably mean you have the flu. Coughing can be a sign of either a cold or the flu. But a bad cough usually points to the flu.

Try to Avoid Getting a Cold

Wash your hands often. You can pick up cold germs easily, even when shaking someone's hand or touching doorknobs or handrails. Avoid people with colds when possible. If you sneeze or cough, do it into a tissue and then throw the tissue away. Clean surfaces you touch with a germ-killing disinfectant. Don't touch your nose, eyes or mouth. Germs can enter your body easily by these paths.

Try to Avoid Getting The Flu

A flu shot can greatly lower your chance of getting the flu. The best time to get the shot is from the middle of October to the middle of November, because most people get the flu in the winter. The shot can't cause the flu. But you may feel sore or weak or have a fever for a couple of days.

To feel better while you are sick:

Drink plenty of fluids.

Get plenty of rest.

Use a humidifier -- an electric device that puts water into the air.

A cough and cold medicine you buy without a prescription may help.

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