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Is it the cold or flu?

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Rochester: Is it the cold or flu?
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Is your child ill? Do they have a cold or do they have the flu? Determining which one they have will make a difference. Marcie Fraser reports.


It’s a fact if you have kids – they are going to get sick! And the smaller they are, the more vulnerable they seem. Infections can be a very serious matter.

"They are breathing faster or they are working harder to breath. You will see things like their chest collapsing and you see their ribs, very often you can see their sternal notch just above their sternum and that will cave in as they breath," said Dr. Manny Cirenza, a pediatrician.

The symptoms of a cold?

"Cough, runny nose, stuffy nose and you might see a low grade fever,” he said.

The flu symptoms are more severe.

"Cough and congestion but usually comes with more systemic symptoms…body aches, muscle aches and much more severe fatigue," said Dr. Cirenza.

Is the old adage ‘starve a fever, feed a cold’ true?

"That is a little off base, generally what I tell parents. Feed them both, basically the child is fighting an infection so you are going to need energy and we are not going to be able to starve this infection nearly as effectively if we are not feeding our self or a child, that child will start fighting the infection with their own natural immunity," said Dr. Cirenza.

Ward off the flu with the flu vaccine. The CDC creates a slightly different vaccine each year, and it lasts longer than you may think.

"The flu vaccine lasts for well over a year, the problem is we are comfortable it doesn't last two years and that is why we give it every year," said Dr. Cirenza.


According to some experts, when it comes to the flu vaccine, it's better late than never, even if it's at the end of the season.

"Getting that vaccine even late in the season, I often advocate getting the vaccine even into March or early April," said Dr. Cirenza.

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