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Tis the Season….for Cold and Flu, That Is!

With any luck you’ll not receive the gift of a cold or the flu this season. The U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MedinePlus® Web site has authoritative, easy-to-understand information on the common cold and flu. Both pages are chock-full of prevention tips as well as treatments. Not sure which you have? That’s covered under Diagnosis/Symptoms with the handy chart, “Is It a Cold or the Flu?,” developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The Common Cold page also has a resource written by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention entitled, “Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work – Common Cold and Runny Nose.” Both pages have information for specific age groups (e.g., children, teenagers, and seniors), patient handouts, links to clinical trials, and journal articles.

In case you aren’t feeling lucky this cold and flu season, take a look at the sections on Prevention/Screening. They include “Stopping the Spread of Germs at Home, Work and School,” “Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs,” and “Transmission of Flu (Influenza),” among others.

MedlinePlus® covers many other topics as well. Take a look at the list of Health Topics or type a topic into the search box at the top of the page. If you have a question about a medication, herb, or supplement, there is a section for these as well. Side effects, special precautions, and drug interactions are also covered. MedlinePlus® can be viewed in Spanish by clicking on the Español link in the upper right corner of any page. The Health Information in Multiple Languages link at the bottom of the MedlinePlus® home page goes to a list of resources available in 45 different languages.

Take a few minutes today to become familiar with what’s available on MedlinePlus®. You never know when you or someone you know may need the information!

~Linda Hartman

Posted in the November 2015 Issue