COLD or FLU
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
The Common Cold
What are common cold symptoms?
Common cold symptoms usually begin with a sore throat, which goes away after a day or two. Nasal symptoms, runny nose, and congestion follow, with a cough on the fourth and fifth days. A fever is uncommon, but a slight one may be possible in adults, whereas children are more prone to have a fever with a cold.
Usual cold symptoms include having the nose abound with watery nasal discharges for the first few days. Later, these become thicker and darker. Dark mucus, although natural, does not mean you have developed a bacterial (sinus) infection.
Sometimes cold symptoms are mistaken for allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or a sinus infection. If the cold symptoms begin quickly and improve after a week, it is a cold, not an allergy. If your cold symptoms do not appear to improve after a week, consult your doctor to find out if you have developed an allergy or sinusitis.
How long do cold symptoms last?
Cold symptoms usually last about a week. During the first three days of cold symptoms, you are contagious. It means you can pass the cold to others, so stay home and give your body some rest. If symptoms do not appear to improve after a week, you might have a bacterial infection, meaning you may need antibiotics.
The Common Flu
What are typical flu symptoms?
Symptoms of flu include sore throat, fever (above 100.4°F), headache, chills, muscle aches and soreness, runny or stuffy nose, congestion, and dry cough. Swine flu is also associated with vomiting and diarrhea. People with flu usually feel sick for two to five days and continue to experience symptoms for another five days. After that, they will experience feeling tired and run down for an additional two or three weeks.
A typical flu complication is pneumonia, especially in the young, elderly, or those with lung or heart problems. If you experience shortness of breath, tell your doctor. Another common sign of pneumonia is a fever after being gone for a day or two.
Like cold viruses, flu viruses enter the body through mucous tissues of the nose, eyes, or mouth. Whenever you touch your hand to one of these areas, you could infect or reinfect yourself with a virus, making it very important to keep the hands germ-free with frequent washing.
Focusing On the Symptoms
Is the symptom flu or cold?
Medical experts recommend taking your temperature because flu symptoms often mimic cold symptoms, but a common cold rarely has symptoms of fever above 101 degrees. Additionally, body and muscle aches are also more common with the flu. The following table will qualify some of the fundamental differences between the two by symptoms.
Although flu and cold are both respiratory illnesses, they are caused by different viruses, with both types of illnesses sharing similar symptoms. Usually, the flu is worse than a cold, with more intense symptoms. Colds do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations, but the flu can have serious associated complications.
FYI - viruses spread both the flu and the common cold. The viruses are contained in water droplets from the nose and mouth when the infected person sneezes or coughs. These droplets can land on surfaces, contaminating them with flu or cold virus traces. To minimize the risk of contagion, you should:
When should you call your healthcare professional with flu or cold symptoms?
If you have flu or cold symptoms, you should call your doctor. Particularly if you also have any of the following symptoms:
In adults, signs of crises can include:
Can I prevent flu or cold symptoms?
Employing the following methods are a significant first step to prevention!
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