Flu vs. Cold – Know the Difference

dreamstime_s_33257182It’s important to know the difference between flu and cold symptoms. A cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu. While cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, flu symptoms can make you feel quite ill for a few days to weeks. The flu can also result in serious health problems such as pneumonia and hospitalizations.
Cold symptoms usually begin with a sore throat, lasting a day or two. Nasal symptoms, runny nose, and congestion follow, along with a cough by the fourth and fifth days. Fever is uncommon in adults, but Children may develop a slight fever.
Cold symptoms usually last for about a week and the first three days is the most contagious period. This means it can be passed on to others, staying home and getting some much-needed rest is the best option. If cold symptoms do not seem to be improving after a week, you may have a bacterial infection, which means you may need antibiotics
Flu symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms and come on quickly. Symptoms of flu include sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough.
Most flu symptoms gradually improve over two to five days, but it’s not uncommon to feel run down for a week or more. A common complication of the flu is pneumonia, particularly in the young, elderly, or people with lung or heart problems
Just like cold viruses, flu viruses enter your body through the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, or mouth, which makes it very important to keep hands germ-free with frequent hand washing to prevent both flu and cold transfers.
How do you know if you have flu or cold symptoms? Take your temperature, say many experts. Flu symptoms often mimic cold symptoms with nasal congestion, cough, aches, and general soreness. But a common cold rarely has symptoms of fever above 101 degrees. With flu symptoms, you will probably have a fever initially with the flu virus and you will feel miserable
Usually, the time of year will give you some sense of what you’re dealing with. The standard flu season runs from fall to spring of the following year.  Read more…