Is it a cold? Is it the flu? Is it COVID? What do I do?

Is it a cold? Is it the flu? Is it COVID? What do I do?

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Distinguishing between the common cold and flu has always been challenging. Now with the addition of COVID, it has become even more difficult. Let’s discuss the distinctions between the three and, more importantly, how to prevent them.

The common cold, influenza (flu), and COVID-19 are all upper respiratory viral illnesses and, therefore, share many of the same characteristics – including cough, congestion, headache, fever, body aches, fatigue, etc…. Though there is always an exception, colds typically have a slower onset and lower fever trend than flu, which usually is abrupt in onset and is typically associated with higher fevers. Additionally, loss of taste and smell is most commonly associated with COVID.  

However, everyone’s body can respond differently to the same virus. Someone with COVID can have no symptoms or mild symptoms that can give the appearance of a simple common cold.  Without a test, you may not know for sure which viral syndrome you have. Therefore it is important to focus on prevention.

We have the pleasure here in The Exam Room with Nurse Alice to speak with Dr. Contessa Metcalfe, Physician, Entrepreneur, and TV personality star from Bravo’s “Married 2 Medicine Atlanta. Here is what she had to say about COVID, The flu vaccine, and staying safe this holiday season.`

Now, let’s discuss the 7 Keys to preventing colds, flu, and COVID:

  • Wash your hands
  • Get your flu vaccine
  • Eat healthy 
  • Build a strong immune system
  • Wear your mask
  • Social distance
  • Avoid others if you know you’re sick

These 7 tips are key to preventing viral respiratory illnesses. If you do find yourself sick with any of the aforementioned symptoms, seek medical attention from your doctor. Let’s stay as well as possible during this season.

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Nurse Alice

Nurse Alice is America’s favorite nurse on television. She is a cardiac clinical nurse specialist, ER nurse, and medical health expert. She's appeared Dr Oz Show, Dr Drew, The Doctors, Sister Circle, TV One, FOX, HLN, CNN, KTLA and NBC.

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