Is It a Cold or the Flu? Here’s How to Tell

Judging by all the people sneezing and coughing on my flight last week, and the ubiquitous “Get your flu shot” signs at every pharmacy, it’s obvious we’ve begun the dreaded cold and flu season. So how can you tell if your aches and scratchy throat are a typical cold or a more serious bout of the flu? A quick rule of thumb is that cold symptoms generally occur from the neck up, whereas flu symptoms take over your whole body. …

Weak Flu Shot Adds to Woes for Those 65-Plus

It’s already a bad flu season for those age 65-plus and now there’s more bad news: This season’s flu shot will only cut your chances of getting sick by 23 percent, compared to the more typical 60 percent in previous years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Federal health officials said this year’s figure is nearly the lowest the agency has seen during the decade or so since it began tracking annual vaccine effectiveness, the Washington …

It’s Going to Be a Bad Flu Season

Sorry, folks, but we’re headed into a nasty flu season. The government’s disease experts say this season’s strain will be particularly virulent and — even worse — about half of the strain’s viruses have already mutated into a form that the current vaccine can’t fully protect against. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the flu shot is still the best bet for protection, but they also urged people who feel they are coming down with …

Here’s What You Don’t Know About the Flu

The last flu season was a record-setter – and not in a good way. The season started early and hit hard. According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the hospitalization rate for those age 65 and up was three to seven times higher than the previous three seasons, and more children died from the flu during 2012-2013 than in the past eight years. Yet even with the severity of last season’s flu, the CDC …