Cold and Flu

Allergies? Common cold? Flu? Or COVID-19?

Anyone who experiences a symptom of illness will be concerned that it might be COVID-19, but at this time of year many people have allergy symptoms, and it’s still possible to catch a cold, although flu season is ending. Here are key symptoms of seasonal allergy, cold, flu, and COVID-19 to help you take action as needed.

Time to redefine normal body temperature?

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Is 98.6˚ F still the norm for body temperature? Data collected over almost 160 years show that the normal body temperature has been declining and is now roughly one degree lower.

As coronavirus spreads, many questions and some answers

Todd Ellerin, MD

Contributor

Readers have many questions about the new coronavirus (COVID-19). We have enlisted one of our experts on infectious disease to answer some of them.

Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

New information about the spread of coronavirus is coming at us seemingly every minute from many sources. But how much of this information is trustworthy? And which sources should you believe?

The new coronavirus: What we do — and don’t — know

Todd Ellerin, MD

Contributor

A novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, has grown quickly since late December. This primer on what we do –– and don’t –– know can help if you’re concerned about this rapidly evolving public health issue.

Harvard Health Ad Watch: When marketing puts your health at risk

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Can health marketing be harmful? Watch out for health ads that make misleading or even dangerous claims that an unproven product or treatment is better than a proven one.

Bad flu season predicted — did you get your shot?

John Ross, MD, FIDSA

Contributing Editor

This year’s flu season may be severe. Almost everyone should get vaccinated, but which vaccine might be best for you? And how else can you avoid the flu?

New medication advances treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps

The FDA has approved a new medication for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, dupilumab, which is given by injection biweekly.

Over-the-counter cold and flu medicines can affect your heart

Some common over-the-counter medications typically taken for colds and the flu may increase the risk of a cardiovascular event. This increased risk is more likely to occur in people with existing heart disease, and in people who take the medications for an extended period of time.

What to do if you think your child has the flu

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

We are in the midst of an active flu season, so if you think your child may have the flu, following this advice will help you and your family get through it a little more easily.