TODAY   |  October 08, 2013

Quiz: Do you have a cold or the flu?

The TODAY anchors test their knowledge about whether they can tell the difference between symptoms of the flu or just your run-of-the-mill cold, with the help of TODAY contributor Dr. Roshini Raj.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> feel like you might be getting a fever, getting achy, could you be getting the flu or just the common cold .

>> what's the best way to treat them?

>> here to help us is the assistant professor, good to see you.

>> good to see you all.

>> you really want people to get the flu shot .

>> absolutely. it's october. this is the time to get it. flu season has officially started and this year you actually have protection against four strains. we have a vaccine, protection against four as opposed to three.

>> you could walk into any pharmacy these days and get it for free.

>> everyone should get it. six months or older you need to get a flu shot .

>> let's get to our flu or cold game here.

>> okay.

>> there are some trick questions.

>> okay.

>> so pay attention.

>> okay. number one, you have a runny nose, high fever, and body aches. what do you have? cold or flu?

>> flu.

>> all right. very good. you guys have been doing your homework.

>> we've all been there.

>> even the fever. you can get a little bit of a fever way cold. you feel like you have been run over by a truck, can't get out of bed. that's the flu.

>> if your symptoms come on more gradually you're more liking to have cold or flu?

>> okay. you two are right.

>> the cold sneaks up on you.

>> it does. it starts way tickle in your throat. the flu hits you all at once. it knocks you down. it comes out of the blue. not so fun. number three, shaking chills are usually a symptom of -- the flu, that's right. you all got it right. another one of the signs of a more severe illness effecting your whole body. you get the high fever and shaking chills. that's a sign your body is fighting off the infection. it can be miserable. number four, coughing and ear ache are associated with well, all you all -- al is right. because it is both.

>> oh.

>> the trick question .

>> very good mr. roker. so coughing and ear ache , cold and flu are caused by viruss and they can effect your ear, they can cause a cough. it will usually go away within a couple of days but if it persists, that's a time to see your doctor. you might need further treatment. could be an ear infection . antiviral medications are used to shorten the duration of the -- natalie --

>> i'm saying none. antivirals are for viruss and flu is a bacteria.

>> no, they're both viruss .

>> but the antiviral only works for the flu. the guys have it this time. you need to get it within two days of your symptoms.

>> okay.

>> but for the cold, they do not work. there's no cure for the common cold . okay, antibiotics are helpful for which one? cold or flu?

>> go with your gut. go with your gut. you should have gone with your gut. it's neither.

>> that's not fair.

>> antibiotics do not work for cold or flu and we're using too many antibiotics in this country. it's a big problem. they do not work.

>> what about the ones that you get the two days and you take it.

>> the tamiflu.

>> no.

>> those are antiviral medications. finally, you have been feeling lousy for three weeks, you probably have the.

>> the flu.

>> yeah, colds are usually done within 7 to 10 days. flus you can feel exhausted for several weeks.

>> what do you do if you have the cold? what's the best thing to treat it?

>> make sure you're hydrated. a lot of fluids. over the counter medications and rest. it will get better on it's own. flu, stay home from work and don't give it to anyone else and get the antivirals if you call your doctor within two days. best prevention, washing your hands. al is the winner here. he gets an amazing trophy.

>> there you go.

>> the virus king. so the cold lasts untreated for seven days, treated about a week?

>> there you go.

>> it's an old joke but i'm an old guy.