Dr. Lauren Roth Provides Information That Helps Guard Against Winter Sickness

Knowing the Difference Between Cold and Flu Offers Protection

DAYTON, Ohio (October 5, 2012) – As the cold and flu season settles in, Premier HealthNet, one of Southwest Ohio’s largest primary care physician networks, is reminding patients and the public that knowing the difference between the cold and the flu can help to protect the young, the old and those with compromised immune systems from developing serious complications.

Lauren Roth, MD, a family practitioner at Phillipsburg Family Care in Phillipsburg, says the difference between a cold and the flu lies in the severity of symptoms. Treating each properly can make the difference  between a few days of sickness and something more serious.

“Most cold symptoms exhibit from the neck up,” Dr. Roth says. “With the flu it tends to be more severe while coming on more abruptly. The flu also tends to be associated with body aches and higher fevers.”

For both the cold and flu, much of the treatment is either supportive care – such as rest and drinking fluids – or symptomatic treatment – fever reducers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, however antibiotics are not necessary for either one.

When it comes to the flu, Dr. Roth recommends that patients visit their primary care physician within 24-to-48 hours, especially if the sufferer is very young, old or suffering from an immune deficiency. In that case, a physician will likely treat the patient with an antiviral medicine, which should help to limit the severity and shorten the duration of symptoms while helping to stave off pneumonia. Dr. Roth also offers the following tips to reduce the risk of catching a cold or flu virus:

  • Make sure to wash hands regularly and practice good hygiene;
  • Drink plenty of water;
  • Stop smoking;
  • If you believe you have the flu, stay away from daycare centers, nursing homes or people with weak or compromised immune systems; and,
  • Get a flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

“Getting the flu vaccine is incredibly important,” says Dr. Roth. “It may make you feel a little under the weather for a few days but, in my opinion, it’s a lot better than getting the actual flu.”

Southwest Ohioans can get a flu shot at many locations, including Premier HealthNet physician offices. For more information on the flu, the flu vaccine, prevention methods or to contact a Premier HealthNet primary care physician, visit www.premierhealthnet.com/doctor.

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