Congestion And Runny Nose Are Increasingly Common Symptoms
Many infectious disease specialists arent surprised that runny nose and congestion are cited as main symptoms of COVID-19.
Runny nose has been an initial symptom with virtually every wave and variant of COVID-19 Ive seen, says Priya Nori, MD, an associate professor in the department of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and medical director of the Antibiotic Stewardship Program at Montefiore Health System in New York City.
Like other respiratory viruses, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 triggers inflammation of the membranes lining the nose and sinuses an immune response, Dr. Nori explains. The inflamed cells cause the nose to make clear mucus, which traps the virus and helps flush it out of the body.
A runny nose may be more common with omicron than previous variants such as delta, Nori says. Thats because omicron tends to live in the upper respiratory tract the nose, throat, and mouth while earlier variants were more likely to move down the respiratory tract into the lungs.
What Else Can I Do To Feel Better
The best way to treat the flu is to prevent it. Flu vaccines are an essential part of this prevention. To help prevent or reduce flu symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months gets vaccinated by the end of October. When it comes to COVID-19, the CDC recommends everyone over 12 years be vaccinated. Other tips for preventing the flu include:
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
Washing your hands frequently
Cleaning and disinfecting contaminated surfaces
Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
If you still end up sick with the flu, there are ways to help you get some symptom relief, including:
Gargling with salt water
Using a nasal irrigator
If you are experiencing symptoms of the flu, speak to your healthcare provider. This is especially necessary if you are at higher risk of flu complications, including adults over 65 years of age, pregnant people, young children, and people with certain medical conditions.
What You Should Know About Humira
Because of the way HUMIRA works on your immune system, you may become more likely to develop infections. Usually these infections are mild like a cold or a sinus infection, but occasionally they can be very serious, even life-threatening, for example tuberculosis or hepatitis B. Thats why doctors monitor people carefully for serious infections while they are taking HUMIRA and why your specialist and general practitioner may encourage you to get treatment early for any infection, even a minor one, like a cold or a graze, so they dont become serious infections. It is important to tell your doctor if you get symptoms of infections such as fever, feeling tired, persistent cough, wounds, skin sores, dental problems or burning on urination.
You should also not receive some types of vaccinations whilst taking HUMIRA. Speak to your doctor about vaccines whilst taking HUMIRA.
There have been cases of certain kinds of cancer in patients taking HUMIRA. If you take HUMIRA your risk may increase. On rare occasions, a specific and severe type of lymphoma, hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma, has been observed in patients taking HUMIRA. In addition, cases of skin cancer have been observed in patients taking HUMIRA. If new skin lesions appear during or after therapy or if existing lesions change appearance, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Speak to your doctor for more information on your specific situation.
A small number of patients may have an allergic reaction to HUMIRA.
Can I Get A Flu Shot While Sick
Michael Menna, DO, is a board-certified, active attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.
But if you’re sick when your appointment rolls around, ask your provider whether you should postpone the shot until you’re feeling better.
If you have just a minor illness like a cold, you can still get a flu vaccine. If you’re sicker or have a fever, your healthcare provider will likely recommend waiting.
This article explains the potential problems of getting a flu shot when you’re sick, when it’s best to get the vaccine, and why some people should avoid it entirely.
Verywell / Cindy Chung
Vaccines trigger an immune response in your body. Here’s how it works:
- The vaccine “shows” your immune system the virus.
- Your immune system makes antibodies, which are proteins that target and inactivate the virus.
- Then your body can respond faster when you’re exposed to the flu virus in the future.
- That quick response can keep you from getting sick.
If you’re sick when you get the vaccine, your immune system is already hard at work fighting the other illness. That means it may not have the resources to develop flu antibodies at the same time. So the vaccine may be less effective at preventing the flu.
And Its More Of A Threat To Your Health
The flu is miserable for anyone. But people with RA have a 2.75-fold increased risk of complications from the flu, such as pneumonia, heart attack, and stroke, according to a study published in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. Recent research also suggests if you have RA and the flu, youre more likely to be hospitalized and require a longer hospital stay.
You May Like: Can The Flu Shot Cause Guillain Barre Syndrome
Is It The Flu A Cold Or Covid
The common cold, flu, and COVID-19 can all cause similar symptoms. If you have symptoms, talk with your health care provider. Your provider can help determine the cause of your illness and help you take steps to feel better.
A cold is often milder than the flu. The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, but COVID-19 spreads more easily and symptoms tend to be more severe. It’s also more common to have a change in your sense of smell or taste with COVID-19.
People with the flu can have fever, chills, dry cough, general aches and pains, and a headache. They feel very tired. Sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose, or stomach problems are less common. What some people call “stomach flu” is not influenza. Learn more about the differences between the flu and a cold and flu and COVID-19.
Keep From Spreading The Flu To Others
- Stay at home or in your dorm room, avoiding work, school, and social gatherings until the fever has been below 100°F for 24 hours .
- Have meals delivered to you. Don’t go to the cafeteria for meals!
- Cover your cough. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or, if necessary, into your upper arm. Dispose of the tissue immediately.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If you are not near water, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner .
- If you have to go out, wear a surgical mask or try to stay at least six feet from other people
Read Also: Pain After Flu Shot Shoulder
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Make sure you get more liquids. It doesnât all have to be water — fruit juices, sports drinks, and broth-based soups also count. They keep your respiratory system hydrated and help turn that nasty, thick mucus into a thin liquid you can cough up and spit out. Thatâs good — if it builds up in your lungs it could lead to an infection.
How Is The Flu Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and examine you. This usually gives the doctor enough information to find out if you have the flu, especially if many cases of a similar illness have occurred in the area and the local health department reports a flu outbreak.
In some cases, the doctor may do a blood test or take a sample of fluid from your nose or throat to find out what type of flu virus you have.
Recommended Reading: Flu Nose Spray Side Effects
Low Risk Of Avian Flu To Songbirds
There is currently very low risk of an outbreak among wild songbirds, and no official recommendation to take down feeders unless you also keep domestic poultry, according to the National Wildlife Disease Program. We do always recommend that you clean bird feeders and birdbaths regularly as a way to keep many kinds of diseases at bay.
We also always recommend that you follow any recommendations put out by your state government, such as the recent request to take down feeders in Illinois. We will update this page as the situation develops.
When You First Get Sick
Most people will only have mild-to-moderate flu symptoms, and they may only experience some of the possible symptoms of the disease.
The CDC recommend that people who experience any flu symptoms should stay home and rest. They should only leave home to make necessary trips, such as to see their doctor or buy groceries.
Staying inside and resting will help the body fight off the virus. It will also reduce the risk of it spreading to other people.
A person should talk to a doctor as soon as possible after any signs of the flu occur. Doing this is particularly important for people at risk of complications, such as older adults and people who smoke.
The also recommend talking to a doctor about antiviral medication during a local flu outbreak. Antiviral medications can prevent severe symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness.
According to the NIH, an antiviral medication is most effective within the first 48 hours of developing symptoms. Therefore, it is best to talk to a doctor as soon as possible about these treatments.
A doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic if there is a risk of other bacterial infections, such as pneumonia.
Recommended Reading: Egg Free Flu Vaccine 2021
Do You Need To Call Or See A Doctor
If you test positive for COVID, you may want to set up a telehealth visit with a healthcare provider to help monitor your condition. If youre at high risk for severe disease, he or she may prescribe an infusion of monoclonal antibodies.
Most people with a cold or the flu can skip a doctor or telehealth visit. However, there are a few exceptions. If a child under the age of 3 has a fever, its best to call your pediatrician. If you dont recover within seven to 10 days, or symptoms worsen, its best to check in with a physician. Adults who are pregnant or over the age of 65 are at high risk of flu complications should see their doctor if symptoms seem worse than the average cold.
Listen To Our Flu Podcast
Victorias Chief Health Officer, Dr Brett Sutton and the Director of the World Health Organisations Influenza Centre, Professor Kanta Subbarao discuss the complexities of the different flu viruses and how vaccines are crafted to protect us, common misconceptions, when to get vaccinated and why some groups are more vulnerable to the flu.
You May Like: When Do They Start Giving Flu Shots
What Are Other Ways To Treat And Prevent The Flu
Antiviral prescription medicines and an annual flu vaccine are available for treating and preventing the flu.
Prescription anti-flu medicines include amantadine , rimantadine , zanamivir and oseltamivir . These drugs do not cure the flu, but they can make the symptoms milder and make you feel better more quickly. They are only effective when used in the first 48 hours of flu-like symptoms.
These drugs are not needed for healthy people who get the flu. They are usually reserved for people who are very sick with the flu or those who are at risk of complications from the flu, such as people with long-term chronic medical conditions or older age.
Flu vaccine . Although there is currently no vaccine against the common cold, there is a vaccine to prevent the flu. The vaccine is available by both shot and nasal spray. It works by exposing the immune system to the viruses. The body responds by building antibodies against the flu. The flu shot contains dead flu viruses. The nasal spray contains live, but weakened, flu viruses. The nasal spray is only approved for healthy children and adults two to 49 years old and who are not pregnant.
Do You Still Take Your Humira Dose While Having Cold And Fever
I know when my son had a cold the Doctor said it is ok to take it still but anything else that is serious you should ask your Doctor some illnesses can become worst when taking it because since Hurmia makes the white cells low you can not fight the aliment off sometimes
Only my experienceâ¦ It hasnât seemed to effect my cold or flu symptoms or susceptibility. Although I have always seemed to fight off colds easily.
Donât Miss: Cvs Pharmacy Flu Shot Records
Also Check: What Is Considered The Flu Season
Do Supplements Relieve Symptoms Or Shorten The Duration Of A Cold Or The Ffu
Some recent research suggests that certain vitamins and herbs can ease cold and flu symptoms or shorten their duration. Overall, the evidence backing up most supplements in treating colds or the flu, however, ranges from weak to nonexistent.
Unlike drugs, the FDA doesnt require that supplements be proven safe and effective before they head to market. Heres the rundown on a few popular remedies.
Its Never Too Late To Get The Flu Vaccine
Everyone should get an annual flu shot. If you havent had your flu shot this year, its never too late to be vaccinated. Particularly if youre in an at-risk group and eligible for free flu vaccination.
The flu vaccination is free for:
- children aged 6 months to under 5 years
- pregnant women
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- people with chronic medical conditions.
You can get your flu shot from a range of providers including GPs, community health centres and some pharmacies.
Please note, some doctors or other immunisation providers may charge a consultation fee. Check with your local immunisation provider to see whether there are any costs involved.
Read Also: Flu Cpt Code For Medicare
Think You Might Have The Flu Heres What To Do
Feeling achy? Tired? Feverish? Wondering if you have the flu or even something else?
If youre feeling a little off this season, then you may be considering a sick visit to your neighborhood MinuteClinic®. Seeking care for your flu-like symptoms is more important than ever, especially as we get closer to peak flu season, which typically hits the U.S. in February. Unfortunately, this years flu season is once again complicated by the presence of COVID-19. So, if youre feeling a little off, you may be wondering, Do I have the flu?, making it even more important to get checked, tested and treated as soon as you start to feel symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms
The flu causes a fever, body aches, a headache, a dry cough, and a sore or dry throat. You will probably feel tired and less hungry than usual. The symptoms usually are the worst for the first 3 or 4 days. But it can take 1 to 2 weeks to get completely better.
It usually takes 1 to 4 days to get symptoms of the flu after you have been around someone who has the virus.
Most people get better without problems. But sometimes the flu can lead to a bacterial infection, such as an ear infection, a sinus infection, or bronchitis. Less often, the flu may cause a more serious problem, such as pneumonia.
Certain people are at higher risk of problems from the flu. They include young children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with long-term illnesses or with impaired immune systems that make it hard to fight infection.
Using Antiviral Medicines To Prevent The Flu
Two antiviral medicines can help prevent the flu caused by influenza A and B viruses. These medicines may also reduce the length of the illness if they are given as soon as possible after the first symptoms. During a flu outbreak, these medicines may be given at the same time as a flu vaccine and for 2 weeks after while your body produces antibodies to protect you from the virus.footnote 5 The influenza medicines are usually given to people who are very sick with the flu or to those who are likely to have complications from the flu. But they may also be used for a person who has been sick with the flu for less than 48 hours. These medicines are taken by mouth or inhaled into the lungs .
The antiviral medicines amantadine and rimantadine have been used to prevent flu caused by influenza A. But for the past few years the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised doctors not to use these medicines to treat or prevent the flu. These medicines have not worked against most types of the flu virus. Amantadine and rimantadine do not protect against influenza B. Be sure to talk with your doctor about the medicine that is best for you.
Things To Do If You Have The Flu
It may have started with a cough or a sneeze, or you may feel like someone beat you with a stick. Achy muscles, respiratory symptoms and a sudden fever all point to influenza and you or your child are down for the count. Here are five things you can do, and five that are probably a waste of time.
ANTIVIRALS: There are two prescription drugs on the market that work against influenza. Tamiflu is a pill, and Relenza is an inhaled powder, and both can cut about a day or two off the time spent in bed with flu. They can also keep patients from getting dangerously ill. Both must be taken within a day or so of when symptoms start to be effective.
ANALGESICS: Pain and fever relieving medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen sold under brand names such as Motrin, Advil, Tylenol and others can reduce fever and help with muscle aches. Patients with asthma, high blood pressure or other chronic conditions should check with a doctor before taking them. Children should never be given aspirin it can cause a deadly reaction called Reyes Syndrome.
FLUIDS: Dehydration is a special risk when people are ill and feverish. The Health and Human Services Department recommends plenty of clear fluids such as water, broth or sports drinks. If you have an upset stomach, try sipping through a straw. The really sick may suck on small ice cubes or ice pops. And drinking can soothe a sore throat.
Also Check: What Was The Death Rate Of The Spanish Flu