Do You Know How To Tell The Difference Between Allergies & The Flu

Fall has barely started and so have the germs. Flu is running rampant all over the New Orleans area, ALREADY. On top of that it's fall allergy season. If everyone in your house is coughing and sneezing and stuffy, you aren't alone.  Our family has some virus which I actually thought were allergies at first, and then it spread through the whole family. Guess it's a virus?

Is it an allergy? Is it a virus? How can you tell? The symptoms sometimes mimic each other, it's really hard to figure out sometimes. Hopefully this post, presented by Rapid Urgent Care will help you and me figure it all out.

family that is sick with the flu

How Do I Know If It's Allergies? 

  • Last for weeks and months – like they never seem to go away. 
  • Usually don't have fever or body aches with allergies. They can make you feel run down but not like you've been hit by a trunk. 
  • Clear or light yellow mucus. Gross but not as gross as the gunk you get with viruses. 
  • Itchy ears and eyes – ANNOYING! 
  • Scratchy throat – SUPER ANNOYING! 
  • Congestion – I didn't like breathing, thanks. 
  • Happen all year-long. Like I said, they never seem to go away. 

How Do I Know If It's A Cold Or Virus Like The Flu? 

  • Last 10-14 days but feels like FOREVER. 
  • Fever with hot flashes and chills. You probably won't die but it feels like it. 
  • Body aches, it feels like you've been run over by a truck. Or death. Either way, you're SICK SICK. 
  • Green and dark yellow mucus – GROSS. 
  • Congestion mixed with bad breath. You're a mouth breather now. 
  • Cough with anything else on this list. COUGH COUGH COUGH, you didn't want to sleep did you. 
  • Usually happen in the fall and winter but can happen all year-long. YAY, cold weather and indoor togetherness. 

How Can I To Avoid Getting Colds and Viruses Like The Flu?

Sadly unless you avoid all your allergy triggers, there is really no way to avoid them. SORRY

You can try to avoid getting colds and viruses but it's hard.

  1. WASH your hands. Seriously this is the number one way to avoid getting sick.
  2. Get your flu shot. This is controversial but with kids with asthma, I'm a big fan of flu shots.
  3. Change your shirt when you come home from work or school
  4. Sneeze into your elbow not your hands
  5. Get enough sleep. Sleep is your friend.
  6. Drink WATER and stay hydrated.
  7. Eat right – fruits and veggies are also your friend.
  8. Don't share food or drinks – even with those little toddlers in your life that are all “Mommy Drink PEASSSS”.
  9. Get some exercise, apparently this helps your immune system. I said apparently.
  10. Don't touch your face – this is a big one especially for kids.
  11. Stay away from sick people. Easier said than done when you're the mom.

Also check out these tips for staying healthy during the school year and these tips for staying healthy during Carnival season. 

What can I do if I get sick?

Besides staying home, rest and drinking lots of water, there really isn't anything much you can do except ride it out. Sucks I know.

If you feel you need to see the doctor our friends at Rapid Urgent Care are there for you.


With locations all over Southeast Louisiana including on in the New Orleans area at 3908 Veterans Memorial Blvd which is on the corner of Vets and Cleary in the same shopping center as Regions Bank. Rapid Urgent Care is open every single day of the year including holidays and has a physician on site to access, diagnose, and treat your concern.  Rapid Urgent Care commonly treats aliments such as the flu and flu-like illnesses. These include colds, sore throats, bronchitis, asthma, and strep throat. We also treat sprains, minor trauma, and fractures. Our on site X-Ray facility can help to determine if have a broken bone or perhaps just a sprained muscle. Learn more by visiting their website and liking them on Facebook.


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