In Nueces County, there’s been an increase in the number of flu cases over the past week. As more people are coming down with the virus, a local doctor says it’s important to understand the difference between a regular cold and the flu.
Dr. James Mobley, who works at the Medical Arts Clinic in Portland, says there are two symptoms of the flu that are different from a common cold.
“The key ones that are different from a cold are headache and fever,” said Dr. Mobley. “If a person has a headache and they’re running a fever, 101 or more, I’d recommend that they contact their physician right away.”
Unlike the common cold, Dr. Mobley says flu-like symptoms include: “The congestion, the cough, muscle aches. You just feel like you got hit by a truck.”
To reduce your chances of coming down with those kinds of symptoms, Dr. Mobley says it’s not too late to get the flu shot.
It’s true, that the vaccine is not 100% effective in all people, as one patient discovered, much to his surprise.
“I really had a headache mostly, and then it seemed like it got worse,” said Gaylon McIlwain, a patient of Dr. Mobley’s.
It did not protect Mr. McIlwain in this case. But the CDC says vaccinations can reduce the number of flu cases by 40% to 60%. And vaccinated people who do get the flu, tend to have much milder cases.
Of course, getting vaccinated is still recommended by medical professionals.
Dr. Mobley says the peak of flu season in the Coastal Bend runs from mid-February to mid-March.