From our Parish Nurse…

A Cold Versus The Flu

You are coughing and stuffy and feel tired. Do you have a cold or the flu? Here’s the difference:  Colds are not as severe as the flu.

Fever:  It is rare to have a fever with a cold; with the flu, it is usual to have a high fever, with sudden onset and lasting for 3-4 days.

Headache:  Rare with a cold; with the flu headaches are common and can be severe.

Muscle aches and pains:  Sometimes with a cold but mild; with the flu, usual and can be severe. Tiredness and weakness:  Sometimes with a cold but mild; with the flu, usual and can be severe, lasting 2-3 weeks. Extreme tiredness is unusual with a cold but usual with the flu and may be severe.

Runny, stuffy nose:  Common with both a cold and the flu.

Sneezing:  Common with a cold and occasional with the flu.

Sore throat:  Common with a cold and the flu.

Chest discomfort, coughing:  Common with a cold but mild to moderate; usual with the flu and can be severe.

Complications:  A cold can lead to sinus congestion or infection and ear aches. The flu can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure and can be life threatening; it can worsen a chronic condition.

How to prevent?  A cold with frequent hand washing and keeping your hands away from your face, eyes, nose, and mouth. The flu with an annual immunization and the same preventative measures as a cold. Always cover up when you sneeze or cough. Stay home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids with either a cold or the flu. If you have the flu, call your doctor and inquire about antivirals which will shorten the length and intensity of the flu. The flu shot has worked fairly well this year in preventing the flu or greatly lessening the discomfort and length of the illness.

Take care of yourself. Your body is a unique, one of a kind gift from God.


Emergency Preparedness

Heads UP!  Have you been diligent about becoming prepared for a possible disaster? Where will your family be when a disaster strikes?  How will you find each other?  How will you know that each person is safe?

  1. Be sure you have prepared a 7-14 day emergency kit.
  2. Create a Family Disaster Plan.
  3. Pick two places to meet, one near your house, one outside of your neighborhood. Everyone must know the address and phone number of the meeting places.
  4. Have a friend or family member out of state be your family contact. Each family member should call this person and tell them where they are.
  5. Discuss what to do in an evacuation.
  6. Plan how to take care of pets.

Proverbs 6:6-8  Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.

—Marilyn Fleming, RN, MSN

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