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Cold and Flu Center

General Overview

Both the cold and the flu (influenza) are viral upper respiratory infections. There are over 200 different viruses known to be responsible for the common cold, whereas there are two main types of influenza virus. Click here to read up on the basics of cold and flu:

Diagnostic and Surgical Procedures

Living With Cold and Flu

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Is it a cold? Or is it the flu? And what do you do?

Before you attempt to treat your condition, step back, consider your symptoms, and figure out if you have a cold, a flu, or both.

Preventing Cold and Flu

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Echinacea: nature's cold fighter?

Many people who become interested in herbs and natural remedies began with an introduction to echinacea, an herbal remedy commonly used for treating colds. Does it really work?

Preventing Cold and Flu (Continued)

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How to wash your hands properly

Believe it or not, one of the best, not to mention easiest, ways to avoid a cold is to wash your hands frequently, especially after time spent in highly-trafficked public spaces.

Special Topics

Besides a shot: other ways to fight the flu

Aside from receiving the vaccine, there are several other steps you can take to reduce your risk of contracting the flu. For example, learn how antiviral medications can both prevent and treat the flu.

Fighting the flu with antiviral drugs

But what if you end up with the flu? You may need to take prescription antiviral medicines if you are at high-risk for complications.

Natural and Alternative Treatments (By Condition)

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. TriStar Health does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.