Cold Vs Flu
The common cold as well as flu are fairly common respiratory conditions that tend to be caused by a variety of viruses. Since both these conditions have common symptoms and tend to occur in the same time period, it may be difficult to distinguish between them. Learning about the symptoms, severity of the infections and time period of illness can help in throwing light on the cold vs flu debate. The most important factor in both these conditions is that flu tends to be intense and severe in comparison to common cold. Colds generally take on a milder form and those experiencing colds are likely to recover faster compared to those suffering from flu. Colds also cannot result in any complications unlike flu where in some cases patients may suffer from other serious health issues like pneumonia, extensive hospitalization etc.
The symptoms that throw light on cold vs flu differentiation indicate that flu symptoms tend to be extensive and severe compared to cold. In case of flu patients tend to experience body aches, fever, dry cough, extreme tiredness etc. In case of colds the symptoms that may be experienced include stuffy or runny nose. However in many cases it is impossible to definitely identify whether a person has simple cold or flu and certain tests may be needed to make a proper diagnosis. With cold patients tend to feel better in a few days while in case of flu, the illness can remain for a few weeks. Those suffering from flu also feel quite debilitated with the body aches and general weakness as compared to common cold where weakness is not experienced.
In learning about cold vs flu it is important to understand that common cold tends to start off with sore throat which resolves in one or two days. In case of flu the sore throat is also accompanied with fever and headache. In rare cases diarrhea and vomiting may also be observed. Congestion is quite common in flu while in common cold the nasal secretions tend to be initially quite watery and later on these become thicker. The fever in case of flu may be 100 to 102 F or even higher. While common cold can get better in around a week’s time, it takes patients around 2 to 3 weeks to recover from flu. The cough in case of common cold also tends to be mild or moderate and has a hacking sound to it. In case of flu chest discomfort and cough may become severe. The onset of cold may be slow compared to flu which may start off suddenly. Flu also tends to result in reduced appetite as against cold where the appetite may continue to be normal. The possible complications that can arise in case of flu include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis etc. In most cases the common cold tends to improve in a week. If no improvement is observed then the patients may have to take antibiotics. Particular care should be taken in case of infants or children experiencing cold or flu symptoms. This is because complications are more likely to occur among young children and treatment should be started at an earliest.
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