Sluggish feeling, stuffy nose, massive headaches — some of the symptoms we can all do without. They torpefy the best of us, impeding many from completing day-to-day activities.
Yearly, millions of Americans will catch the common cold. Adults, for instance, have the illness two to three times per year on average.
More serious is influenza, or the flu. In the previous Winter, an estimated 80,000 Americas succumbed to the flu and its complications. It was the highest death tool in over four decades.
Regardless of which respiratory illness the person has, it will be frustrating and potentially serious. However, with awareness of important facts, our readers can more quickly treat either illness.
What is the difference between a cold and flu?
Flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone.
In general, flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.
Flu can have very serious associated complications.
How can you tell the difference between a cold and the flu?
Because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can tell if a person has the flu.
What are the symptoms of the flu versus the symptoms of a cold?
The symptoms of flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness).
Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems.