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Colds and Flu

Learn about colds and flu

You're sneezing, coughing, aching, and tired. Having a cold or the flu is miserable! But you can treat the symptoms. Cold symptoms tend to get worse over a few days. Flu symptoms are more severe than cold symptoms and come on faster. For either illness, it is important to rest and drink plenty of fluids to feel better.

Cold and flu viruses spread easily in the late fall and winter. Wash your hands often to protect yourself from catching and spreading a cold or the flu. You can lower your risk of catching the flu by getting the flu vaccine every year. If you do catch a cold or the flu, try to stay away from others to avoid spreading the disease.

Get the information you need in our cold and flu topics, such as:

  • Colds
  • Influenza (Seasonal Flu)
  • Sore Throat and Other Throat Problems
  • Fever or Chills, Age 12 and Older
  • Flu Vaccines: Should I Get a Flu Vaccine?
Health Topics
  • 7 Reasons You May Need a COVID-19 Viral Test
  • Acetaminophen
  • Acute Bronchitis
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Antihistamines
  • Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
  • Colds
  • Common Questions About the Flu Vaccine
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Cough Symptoms in Children
  • Coughs, Age 11 and Younger
  • Coughs, Age 12 and Older
  • COVID-19 or Flu? How to Tell
  • COVID-19 Vaccine for Children
  • COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know
  • COVID-19: Advice if You're Planning a Pregnancy, Pregnant, Recently Pregnant, or Breastfeeding
  • COVID-19: Caring for Someone Who Is Sick
  • COVID-19: People Who Are at High Risk for Serious Illness
  • Deciding to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine
  • Decongestants
  • Difference Between the Flu and a Cold
  • Ear Infections
  • Fever or Chills, Age 11 and Younger
  • Fever or Chills, Age 12 and Older
  • Fever Temperatures: Accuracy and Comparison
  • Flu Complications
  • Flu: Signs of Bacterial Infection
  • Gastroenteritis in Adults and Older Children
  • Hand-Washing
  • Heart Failure: Avoiding Colds and Flu
  • Influenza (Seasonal Flu)
  • Long COVID
  • Making It Easier to Wear a Mask to Help Prevent Infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Productive Coughs
  • Quick Tips: 10 Things to Do if You Have COVID-19
  • Quick Tips: 9 Things to Do if You've Been Exposed to COVID-19
  • Quick Tips: Safely Giving Over-the-Counter Medicines to Children
  • Relieving a Cough
  • Respiratory Problems, Age 11 and Younger
  • Respiratory Problems, Age 12 and Older
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection
  • RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) Vaccine: What You Need to Know
  • Saline Nasal Washes for Sinusitis
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
  • Sinusitis
  • Sore Throat and Other Throat Problems
  • Tonsillitis
  • Understanding Virtual Care (Telemedicine)
  • Using a Pulse Oximeter
  • Vaccine to Prevent COVID-19
  • Vaccines to Prevent the Flu
Medical Tests
  • Lung Function Tests
  • Throat Culture
  • Viral Test for COVID-19
  • Viral Tests
Make a Wise Decision
  • Bronchitis: Should I Take Antibiotics?
  • Ear Infection: Should I Give My Child Antibiotics?
  • Flu Vaccines: Should I Get a Flu Vaccine?

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

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