Woman with a cold
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This year, Americans will come down with 1 billion colds, and 20 percent of us will get the flu. Many of these cases will occur in the winter, at the peak of cold and flu season. When it's colder and less humid, germs travel faster and hang in the air. This environment allows them to live longer and makes transmission easier, making it more likely that you'll catch or spread an illness-causing bug. While you can't do much to control your exposure to germs, there's plenty you can do to bolster your immune system and fight back against illness.

The first step is identifying if you have a cold or a flu. Although some of the symptoms are similar, these are distinctive conditions, each caused by a different type of virus. While the majority of flu cases are caused by viruses in the family orthomyxovirus (which the flu shot targets), colds can be the result of many different types of viruses. You can tell the difference by asking yourself: "Are symptoms in my head or my whole body?" Colds symptoms appear slowly over a few days and mainly affect your head; you'll have congestion, sneezing, a sore throat or cough. Conversely, the flu affects your whole body and comes on suddenly. You'll experience pain and body aches, GI symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea, and a fever.

Luckily, Dr. Oz has solutions to rescue your body from these miserable symptoms. See what to stock up on today to make it through cold and flu season unscathed.

Your First Line of Defense: Saline Nasal Spray
Airborne pathogens enter through your nose and mouth and begin to encroach on your body's protective barriers. As they're absorbed, they can spark an immune reaction and cause a cold or flu. The chances of getting sick are increased if your nasal passages are dry, a common occurrence in cold weather.

Without any lubrication, the nose can't flush out bacteria, which results in a safe haven for germs. That's why the first item in Dr. Oz's Rescue Pack is saline nasal spray. This simple remedy helps to flush out mucus and bacteria. Adding moisture to the nasal passages also helps to combat stuffiness, congestion and further infection. Look for a spray that has purified water and sodium chloride to get the purest, most effective spray.

Next: Find relief for a sore throat, fever or cough


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