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Topic – Colds and Flu

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Colds and Flu

A cold and the flu are caused by germs that get inside your body. The full name for the flu is influenza (say it like this: in-flew-en-za).

A Cold

If you get a cold, you probably have a sore throat and a stuffy or runny nose. You may also have a cough and feel a little bit tired all the time.

If you have a cold, you might sneeze. When you sneeze or cough, you get rid of some of the germs inside your body. These germs can land on people and things around you. Those germs can make other people get sick, too.

When you catch a cold, you get sick slowly. At first, your throat might feel a bit scratchy and your nose might be a little bit runny. Over the next day or two, you feel sicker. You might cough and sneeze, and your nose might get more runny or stuffed up. Your scratchy throat turns into a sore throat.

The Flu

If you get the flu, you might have a sore throat and a runny or stuffy nose. You will probably feel very tired all the time. People get sicker from the flu than they do from a cold.

The flu doesn’t make people sneeze, but people can still spread flu germs. When you cough or talk, germs can come out of your mouth and land on people and things around you.

When you get the flu, you start to feel sick quickly—faster than if you have a cold. It doesn’t take a few days before you start to feel really sick.

Every year, people can get a flu shot. This helps stop you from getting the flu. There is no shot to help stop people from getting a cold.


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Brain Stretch: Washing hands can help prevent getting a cold or the flu.