How Can You Tell if Your Mom Has a Cold, the Flu, or Something Else?

How Can You Tell if Your Mom Has a Cold, the Flu, or Something Else?

 March 12, 2020

A woman laying in bed with her head on pillows.


Throughout the fall, winter, and spring, viruses pick up. Homes are closed up for the winter. Heaters are running. People are also more likely to spend time inside and avoid being outside in the fresh air.

Your mom is sick. You can’t tell if it’s cold, the flu, or something else. How do you tell them apart?


Symptoms of the Common Cold

The common cold may focus on the chest or the head. A chest cold is going to lead to congestion and a cough that brings up mucus. A sore throat may be present. A head cold will lead to post-nasal drip, clogged sinuses, and watery eyes.

Colds start slowly and build. Sneezing, cough, and sore throat are common symptoms. People with a cold may feel some muscle pain, but it’s not as common.


Symptoms of the Flu

Like the cold, the flu is very common. It’s estimated that more than three million Americans get the flu each year. While some of the symptoms can seem similar to the common cold, the flu usually includes a headache, fever, and muscle pain that appear suddenly. A severe cough and fatigue are also very common.

  • The flu shot can help prevent the flu, but it’s not a perfect system. Each year, scientists have to study trends and predict the strains that are most likely to happen that year. If they don’t get all of the correct strains and a different one is prevalent, you can end up with the flu.
  • It also takes time to build up immunities from the flu shot. If your mom has the flu shot and is exposed to the flu the next day, her body hasn’t had time to get prepared.
  • If she does get the flu anyway, her body will have some immunities started. That can help her fight the flu more quickly. She still needs to get plenty of rest while she recovers.
  • If your mom is developing other symptoms like shortness of breath or a very high fever, you should call her doctor. She could have pneumonia.

When your mom is sick, make sure she’s well supported at home. If she feels like she needs to get up and do the housework, wash her sheets and clothes, or cook meals, she can lengthen her recovery. Hire home care to help her out.

Instead of feeling that she needs to get things done, caregivers take over so that she can rest and let her body heal. Call a home care agency to make arrangements.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elderly Care in Greentree, PA, please contact the caring staff at In-Home Quality Care today. Serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area since 1990! Call 412-421-5202