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NEWS | Dec. 1, 2006

Recognize cold, flu symptoms

By Capt. Shelby Fisher 1st Medical Operations Squadron

Most people consider cold and flu the same thing, but they are actually two separate illnesses. The average American adult catches about two to four colds a year. Children catch between five and nine colds each year, with preschoolers the most susceptible, according to the Mayo Clinic.

A cold often includes a runny nose, sneezing, coughing and mild aches and pains.
The flu, while less common, is more severe. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized yearly with influenza and flu-related complications, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The flu usually features the same symptoms as a cold, but the symptoms are more severe and can include fever, severe muscle aches, and exhaustion.

To treat cold and flu, doctors recommend the following: bed rest, plenty of fluids, aspirin or acetaminophen for fevers and over-the-counter medication to temporarily relieve symptoms.

People who need care advice or an official pass, or quarters authorization, from work or school, the 1st Fighter Wing Hospital offers a no-wait, no-appointment, walk-in clinic to families at the following locations and times:

Active-duty personnel:

-1st FW Hospital lobby: Mondays through Fridays from 7:30-9:30 a.m.

-Blue Clinic: Mondays through Thursdays from 7:30-11 a.m. and 1- 3 p.m., Fridays 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Non-active-duty (Use clinic assigned to):

-1st FW Clinic at NASA: Mondays through Thursdays from 7:30 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 5 p.m., Fridays from 9 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 5 p.m.

-Bethel Clinic: Mondays through Thursdays from 7:30 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 3 p.m. and Fridays from 9 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 3 p.m.