What’s the Difference Between a Cold and the Flu
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The common cold and the flu may seem similar at first. They’re both respiratory illnesses and can cause similar symptoms. But different viruses cause these two conditions. Your symptoms help you tell the difference between them.
Both a cold and the flu share a few common symptoms. People with either illness often experience:
- runny or stuffy nose
- body aches
- general fatigue
In general, the symptoms of the flu are more severe than those of the common cold.
Another distinct difference between the two is their severity. Colds rarely cause other health problems. But the flu can cause sinus and ear infections, pneumonia and sepsis.
To determine if your symptoms come from a cold or the flu, you should consult your doctor. Your doctor will perform tests that will help you determine what is behind your symptoms.
If your doctor is diagnosed with a cold, it will be enough to treat your symptoms until the virus has passed. These treatments may include the use of over-the-counter medications for cold, hydration and rest.
Taking flu shots at the beginning of the cycle can help reduce the severity of the disease and shorten the period of the disease. Rest and hydration are also beneficial for people with the flu. Like colds, the flu only needs time to get through your body.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Here are some of the common symptoms of the flu.
The flu almost always causes an increase in your body temperature. This is also known as fever. Most influenza-related fevers range from a mild fever of approximately 37 ° C (100 ° F) to a maximum temperature of 40 ° C (104 ° F).
Although it is alarming, it is not uncommon for young children to have stronger fevers than adults. If you think your child has the flu, consult your doctor.
You may feel “feverish” when you have a high temperature. Symptoms include chills, sweats or cold despite high body temperature. Most fevers last less than a week, usually between three and four days.
These flu-related muscle aches are more common in the neck, back, arms and legs. They can often be serious, which makes movement difficult even when it comes to basic tasks.
A dry and persistent cough is common with the flu. The cough can get worse, become uncomfortable and painful. You may also experience difficulty breathing or chest discomfort during this time. Many flu-related coughs can last about two weeks.
Your first flu symptom can be a severe headache. Sometimes, eye symptoms, including sensitivity to light and sound, accompany the headache.
Fatigue is a not very obvious symptom of the flu. Feeling generally bad can be a sign of many conditions. These feelings of fatigue can appear quickly and be difficult to overcome.