How to differentiate cold from flu & what are their severities?

Your nose is dry, your throat is scratchy, and your head is beating. Are you suffering from a cold, or it’s the seasonally triggered flu? This might be the question amongst many of us. 

Many symptoms can coexist and, therefore, unless your doctor conducts a rapid flu test – such as a quick test using a swab of cotton from your throat or nose lets impossible to determine with certainty. 

Here are some general guidelines to distinguish between flu and cold symptoms and what to do if you’re suffering from one of these conditions. 

How can you spot the Distinction Between Cold & Flu?

The virus causes colds as well as the flu. Both respiratory infections. The easiest way to determine the difference is to look at the symptoms. 

If you’re suffering from a cold and you’re suffering from it, you’ll likely experience symptoms similar to these:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny or Stuffy Nose
  • Sneezing
  • Mild tiredness
  • Cough
  • Headache or body pains

The flu symptoms could include:

  • Shaking chills
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough that hacks
  • Runny nose and stuffy eyes 
  • Moderate to high fever but not all with flu will have a high or moderate fever
  • Extreme fatigue that could last for up to two weeks.
  • Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting may be expected. 

Colds appear gradually over the course of a few days, and can be more mild than flu. They generally improve after between 7 and 10 days however symptoms can last as long as 2 weeks. 

Flu manifestations show quickly and are often extremely severe. The typical duration is 1 to two weeks. Utilize your symptoms to determine what condition you are suffering from. If you think you may be suffering from the flu, consult your doctor for a test within the first two weeks of manifesting symptoms. 

What is the typical Cold?

It is considered to be an upper respiratory illness caused by viruses. In the words of the American lungs association over 200 viruses can trigger this common illness. 

However, another research says that rhinovirus is the most common one that causes people to sneeze and cough. It’s highly contagious. 

Although you can get colds at any time of the year, colds are more frequent during the winter months because most viruses that cause colds thrive in lower humidity. 

People who are sick cough or sneezes. We are sending droplets of virus-laden droplets through the air. 

You could contract the virus by touching any surface recently handled by an infected individual and then rubbing your mouth, eyes, or nose. The most risk of infection is during the initial 2 to 4 days following the time you’ve been exposed to the cold virus. 

What exactly is the cause of the seasonal Flu?

Influenza– also known as the flu, more commonly recognized – can be described as a different upper respiratory infection. In contrast to a cold, which can occur at any time, it is seasonal. The flu season generally lasts from the fall until spring, peaking in the winter months.

In the influenza season could contract the flu in the same manner as you would get a cold: When you come in contact with droplets sprayed by an affected person. The virus can be transmitted from one day before becoming sick and can last for 5 to seven days after you begin showing symptoms. 

Seasonal influenza is caused by influenza A, B, and C viruses, including influenza A & B being two of the frequent kinds. The active strains of the influenza virus differ from year to year. This is why the latest influenza vaccine is designed each year. 

The flu can lead to more severe conditions than the common cold, like pneumonia. This is especially true in the following:

  • Older adults
  • People with a weak immune system such as asthma or diabetes
  • Younger children
  • Pregnant women

Staying Healthy 

The flu shot is the best way to prevent getting it. The flu shot should be administered in October as soon as the flu season begins.

You can still get the vaccine in late fall and winter. Flu vaccines can protect you against the flu and make it less severe if the flu does strike. 

Avoid getting the flu by washing your hands with soap and warm water. You can also use an alcohol-based hand cleaner to prevent spreading the virus. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes. Also, avoid contact with anyone suffering from flu symptoms or similar symptoms. 

To avoid getting sick, you must have healthy habits. It is essential to get enough sleep, eat plaenty of fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, and manage stress during flu season.

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