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Cold & Flu

Each year millions of Americans miss work and school because they have a cold or flu infection. At IU Health, our highly skilled primary care physicians work with you to protect your families from these viruses and help you recover quickly if you do fall ill.

The common cold and influenza are caused by viruses, meaning they cannot be treated with antibiotics. It is important to understand the differences between the two illnesses to ensure you seek proper medical care.

Someone suffering from a cold often has no fever or headache but experiences a stuffy nose, sore throat and a mild cough. They may or may not feel fatigued. While no treatment exists to shorten the length of a cold, symptoms can often be managed with over-the-counter medications. Colds go away on their own, usually without causing further complications or infections. You might experience multiple colds each year.

People suffering from the flu experience more severe symptoms. They often have a high fever, headache, heavy coughing, aches, fatigue and no nasal congestion. Influenza can be a severe illness that may require hospitalization. You should seek medical attention for high fevers or if you have other medical conditions that may be complicated by the flu including diabetes, asthma or congestive heart failure. It is possible to have multiple bouts of influenza each year.

Each year a new flu vaccine is created because the viruses that cause the flu constantly change. Once the virus has changed, the past immunization may not be effective in preventing you from getting sick. You should receive a flu shot each year to protect yourself from this potentially deadly disease.

IU Health has hundreds of primary care physicians throughout the state to help Hoosier families stay well. Our primary care teams work with you to maintain overall wellbeing and prevent illnesses. Throughout cold and flu season, our physicians provide education on infection prevention, keep your immunizations up to date and offer symptom relief solutions. Through every age and stage of your life, our physicians serve as your team of experts in protecting you and your family from the flu.

If you are concerned about your symptoms or unsure whether you have a cold or flu, you should seek help from a primary care physician.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Cold & Flu Treatment Information

IU Health Primary Care physicians offer services to help prevent and manage cold and flu illnesses, including:


Cold & Flu Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.

Find a Specialist

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Cold & Flu Support Services

Information on cold and flu illnesses is available on government health agency websites. The following resources can help you learn how to best protect your family from a cold or flu infection: