Whenever people feel like they have symptoms related to a cold or flu, chances are they don’t even know what they’re referring to, or that there’s a difference between the too at all.
When it comes to differentiating the two from one another, there is, however, a big difference and even though their symptoms might feel related to one another, here’s how you’ll tell the two apart.
Most symptoms related to both these conditions are coughing, sneezing, having a fever, feeling like you have aches and pains, as well as fatigue.
A cold, however, is a far milder respiratory condition, than flu. Cold symptoms can leave you feeling sick for a few days, while flu symptoms can leave you feeling very ill for a few days, to a couple of weeks.
Colds are also known to be far less aggressive than flu and aren’t even considered a worthy reason to visit the doctor’s office. Flu, however, can turn into conditions such as bronchitis and pneumonia and if not treated, can be life-threatening.
Symptoms of the Common Cold
If you’d like to know the difference between the two, the way to do so is to recognise the symptoms thereof. It all starts with a sore throat, which lasts either one or two days, and is followed by nasal symptoms, a runny nose, congestion, coughing and sometimes even fever. Children, however, are more likely to have a fever, than adults.
Cold symptoms generally don’t last for more than a week. During the first three or four days, you will be contagious and should avoid contact with people, especially at work or school.
If your symptoms last more than a week, you might have developed a bacterial infection, which means you will need antibiotics to get rid of it.
Symptoms of the Flu
Some people refer to a cold as the basic type of flu. When it comes to the flu, symptoms are much more severe and appear faster in your body.
Symptoms usually include a fever, sore throat, headache, soreness, congestion, cough and muscle aches.
Flu symptoms will improve between two to six days, which will also feel you leaving run down. If you suspect that you have the flu, you must visit the doctor to get the right medications or antibiotics for it, as the flu can turn into pneumonia.
As soon as you feel like you have shortness of breath and fever, you should also visit a doctor, to ensure you receive the right medication to avoid getting pneumonia.
The Difference Between Colds and Flu
In a nutshell, colds are viruses that develop inside of your body, while flu viruses enter your body via the mucous membranes of your eyes, nose and mouth. Every time you touch your face, you could be transferring germs to your mucous membranes, which is precisely why you should always wash your hands regularly.