Know the main differences between a cold and the flu
You have a runny nose, your throat is scratchy and your head is pounding. Is it just a cold or do you have the flu? As the flu and cold seasons are drawing near, many are left wondering about the differences between the two. While both are respiratory illnesses, they are caused by different viruses.
Therefore, it is essential to know the differences between the flu and a cold so that we can take the necessary precautions.
A cold is a milder respiratory infection
A cold is an upper respiratory viral infection. It is caused by more than 100 different viruses. Cold symptoms are usually milder than the flu and they include the runny or stuffy nose, sore throat and sometimes a cough. While colds are unpleasant, they rarely last long. People with a cold usually get better in 7 to 10 days while the symptoms can last for up to 2 weeks.
On the other hand, flu symptoms may come on abruptly and can be more severe. These include dry, hacking cough, moderate to high fever, sore throat, shaking chills, severe muscle or body aches, and severe fatigue which may last for up to 3 weeks. If not treated at the right time, the flue can lead to sinus and ear infections, inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle, and multi-organ failure. According to recent research, the flu is one of the main causes of death among people aged over 65.1
Both the flu and a cold can come at the same time
It is possible to have both the flu and a cold at the same time.2 The common cold is caused by rhinoviruses and the flu is caused by the influenza virus. Thus, it is common that a person suffers from both but will not have symptoms from both at the same time.
Colds and flu are contagious
One of the main similarities between a cold and the flu is that they are both contagious. They are easily spread from one person to another by droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, touching or direct bodily contact.
Can the flu and a cold be prevented?
Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely prevent flu or colds. But good and healthy habits like washing your hands properly and covering your cough or sneeze can help stop the spread of germs and viruses.
It is also important to keep your surroundings clean. After all, it takes only a tiny droplet of the virus to infect you and your family. Your body needs plenty of fluids and vitamins to fend off cold germs and the flu virus. Staying hydrated all day long may help boost a particular immune response and keep you protected.
If you do start to feel flu symptoms look to keep Oscillococcinum* readily available. At the onset of flu-like symptoms, take Oscillo to relieve body aches, headache, fever and chills and reduce the duration of flu symptoms.
Seek help if you get worse and talk to your doctor. Get professional advice if you are at risk for complications from the flu. If your symptoms become significantly worse after the first three days of illness, especially if your fever subsides and then returns, be sure to seek medical attention right away.
2. University of Canberra Health Research Institute