This time of year it is often common for people, of all ages, to experience sneezing, a runny nose or a sore throat. How do you tell if these symptoms are related to a common cold or, more seriously, the flu? While both diseases are caused by a virus, their symptoms can differ. While having a cold can be awful, the flu is often more serious.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent estimates there have been between and 10 and 11 million reported cases of the flu. What are the signs of the flu? How do we tell the difference between a cold or the flu? Click here for an easy way to tell differences between a cold and the flu.

TeenHealthFx recommends these ways to prevent the flu:

  • Proper hand washing

  • Get a flu shot

  • Avoid contact with those infected

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces

  • Maintain a well-balanced life style


  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Dealing with the flu can be unpleasant but these are some ways to lessen the severity of the flu:


  • Stay at home and rest

  • Drink a lot of fluids

  • The flu shot lessens symptoms of the flu

If your feeling like you have the flu and your symptoms are not going away or are steadily getting worst, it is important to seek medical attention. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

TeenHealthFx recommends the following references for additional information regarding the flu:

Fighting the Flu

Flu Facts