With September rapidly approaching, followed by autumn and winter, we continue to face uncertainty in what this year can bring us. One can bet that the return of students in high school and college campuses across America might cause another spike of coronavirus cases. The coinciding cold and flu season may foster an environment of more sickness and confusion among the public. How can a person without a healthcare background differentiate the common cold, the flu, and the coronavirus?
The rising cost of healthcare may partly be an obstacle for adults in making regular visits to the doctor’s office, according to NPR . Health problems can go undetected, leading to illness progression and worsening of chronic disease. As discussed before, it’s hard to ‘feel’ high blood pressure until heart disease delivers its first blow, and it’s hard to ‘feel’ high cholesterol until the major arteries are clogged up, leading to cardiovascular complications like stroke. In current times, people may avoid visiting the doctor’s office due to possibly catching illnesses from others in the waiting room.
A start is knowing and recognizing the signs and symptoms of the cold, influenza, and coronavirus. Telling the flu apart from the common cold is less complicated. The telltale signs of the flu are fever lasting for 3-4 days, body aches, and chills. In contrast, the cold symptoms appear gradually with coughing, sneezing, and a sore throat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Now the hard part: How to tell if you have the coronavirus?*** Without testing, you won’t get confirmation. Paying attention to symptoms will be one call to action. The coronavirus shares some similarities in symptoms with the common cold and the flu to complicate matters (Examples: runny nose, congestion, sore throat, fever, cough, and body aches); however, symptoms of the coronavirus can also include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea .
In the event you get sick, please refer to this link for more guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Website -> https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html). A bit of notable advice in seeking medical care is through the growing telemedicine industry, which is convenient in times of social distancing. In the comfort of your own home, you can have access to a physician or healthcare provider through videoconferencing. You can give the following telemedicine providers a try: Teledoc (https://www.teladoc.com), Amwell (https://amwell.com/cm/), or Doctor On Demand (https://www.doctorondemand.com).
With the knowledge and tools available at your disposal, we hope that you navigate the coming months with more of a peace of mind.
***Medical Disclaimer: The information written on this post is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions regarding your health.
 NPR. (2020). As out-of-pocket health costs rise, insured adults are seeking less primary care. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/02/03/801351890/as-out-of-pocket-health-costs-rise-insured-adults-are-seeking-less-primary-care
 CDC. (2020). Influenza (flu) – flu symptoms and complications. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/symptoms.htm
 CDC. (2020). Symptoms of coronavirus. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html