Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cold vs. Flu vs. Swine Flu (Photo of the Day)

Photos of a few things I've tried -- Ricola Cherry Honey Cough Drops (highly recommended), Airborne (Regular and Nightime - nighttime is not tasty at all!), Tylenol PM (waiting to take this, but don't want to mix meds), TamiFlu (very helpful last season, hoping it will work its charm again), Green Tea and a thermometer (97.2, no fever, but still achy)

This will be my second post of the day and can you tell I'm getting bored and dreading being sick? Well, instead of being useless on the couch or sleeping through the day -- I'm trying to push myself to the road of recovery ... and being active with a few photo setups (ok, i really should have ironed the black fabric, but its a calumet cover and wasn't sure if i could do that; and i probably should have used the manual focus but didn't want to try and find my glasses -- afterall, I am sick (boo hoo hoo)... alright, alright, I admit, these are TWO very BAD things you should not neglect as a photographer - yes, JOE (for those that don't know, Joe is my photography mentor -- visit his site at ... :D ), you're right Joe.

So, today is my fourth day and though tamiflu has helped a bunch, I still have this nagging cough -- which, is now starting to turn -- phlegmy. Eeks. I might have to call the doctor again. But because I have this cough, I want to avoid contact with all my friends.... why? Well, I actually got the flu from a friend that was coughing in the car -- and a day later, I was struck down with the flu.

So what makes the flu, THE FLU, and what makes a cold, a COLD? and what about Swine Flu? Ok, I'm no doctor, but damn, WebMD sure makes it easy to self-diagnose yourself -- so most of what I'll be sharing with you is from WebMD, my quick clinical resource. Below you will find a few quick excerpts that will make it easy for you to understand. If you want to read about it yourself, click here for the slide show.

NOTE: Before you read on, you should know that this is not a be all ends all type of quick help tool, nor is WebMD the answer to everything, so everyone should know that if you have a question or medical emergency, please consult your doctor or physician.

A Cold. Colds usually include a runny or stuffy nose. Colds usually come on gradually and last for about a week.

A Flu. Classic seasonal flu symptoms include sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough. Symptoms come on suddenly and you feel drained/exhausted. Flu symptoms usually get better over two to five days. But it's not uncommon to feel rundown and lousy for a week or longer. If left untreated and becomes severe, in some cases, the flu can lead to pneumonia (consult your doctor).

Swine Flu. Swine flu and the regular seasonal flu share many symptoms: cough, sore throat, fever (although not everyone with flu has a fever), and body aches. But many people with swine flu also have stomach problems, such as vomiting, and diarrhea. If you think you have the Swine Flu, CDC recommends you contacting your health care provider.

If you have a cold and have had it for more than a few days.... you are ok. Sometimes it can take two days to a week to feel better. For more reasons why your cold is lasting longer than you think, read here.

For more items on what to take for your cold, or flu, or what to do if you have the swine flu, refer back to WebMD.

Did you know?:
  • A cold or the flu are all respiratory illnesses and are both contagious viral infections.
  • The flu vaccine is harmless versions of the flu virus that helps your body recognize and fight it if exposed to the real thing. Despite what you may hear, they don't give you the flu. side note: friends have gotten vaccinated before, but still got the flu that season. so although you may think the vaccine can prevent you from getting the flu, its not entirely true.
  • If you have the flu and you take prescription antiviral drugs within 48 hours of the first symptom, you can reduce the severity of the symptoms and lessen the duration of the flu by at least one day.
  • Easiest ways to get the swine flu, according to WebMD, is someone coughing on you (50% chance), touching something that has the flu virus (31% chance), breathing in tiny particles that was sneezed or coughed out of from an infected person (17% chance) or breathing in large particles that have been in the air a shorter amount of time (0.5%). These stats are based on a scenario in which a family member is taking care of someone sick in bed with a type A flu bug. For more, read here
  • You are more likely to catch a common cold if you are excessively fatigued, have emotional distress, or have allergies with nose and throat symptoms (read more here)
  • More than 100 types of cold viruses are known, and new strains of flu evolve every few years. Since both diseases are viral, antibiotics cannot conquer cold or flu. A few antiviral medications are available to treat flu. But there are no medications that specifically defeat the common cold. Antibiotics may be helpful if there is a secondary bacterial infection. (read more here).
OK, that's all folks, hope that was a quick and easy tutorial on the differences between the COLD, the FLU, and the SWINE FLU.

Be healthy and avoid contact with sick people (that includes me for this week)

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