Last Updated: 24th July, 2022
The Flu and Cold: Flu symptoms might include feverishly/shivers, coughing, sore throat, watery or blocked nose, body and muscle pain, a headache and exhaustion (dizziness). Typically, cold symptoms seem to be fairly milder than the flu symptoms. It is much more likely that most people experiencing colds will get a watery and blocked nose.
Often people consider that distinguishing between both the symptoms of the flu and cold might be a bit of a challenge because both appear to be similar. However, if you look closer, you can easily spot the difference between the two. So here we are to help you differentiate between flu and cold with effective tips.
Do Not Try To Equate And Confuse Flu And Cold
The flu as well as common cold both are conditions of the respiratory system. Both infections, however, are triggered by multiple different viruses. Flu is contagious in nature which means it can spread from one person to the other through cough/sneeze droplets. Moreover, flu results in serious health complications if ignored. Here are 5 key differences between the flu and cold to be aware of.
1. High Fever Is One Of The Common Symptoms Of The Flu
People suffering from cold do feel slightly feverish, however, if you have a fever of 102 degrees or higher, it could mean the flu. Ideally, high body temperature along with a sore throat and a cough is a tell-a-tale sign that someone is infected with the flu virus.
2. Colds Usually Go Away On Their Own
If you have been experiencing symptoms such as cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, fever or weakness for more than 2-3 days, it is wise to consult a doctor. Ideally, the symptoms of a cold subside within a few days, and you may show improvement in your symptoms. However, the symptoms of the flu may require medications or hospitalization to go away. Moreover, the flu can also be fatal in some cases.
3. The Flu Can Happen Suddenly
When it comes to cold, the symptoms tend to develop gradually with mild sniffling, discomfort or congestion. These slowly progress into a sore throat, and the condition worsens. But that is not the case with the flu. The symptoms of the flu usually abruptly develop such that you feel sick the next moment or after waking up.
4. Body Ache, A Headache, Weakness And Sore Throat Could Mean The Flu
People suffering from the flu may show symptoms such as coughing, fatigue/weakness, body pain, a headache and fever. Whereas, those with a common cold may complain about a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or sore throat. People with common cold are less likely to experience fever, weakness and body aches.
5. The Symptoms Of The Flu Last Longer
Unlike the common cold, which usually lasts for around 3 – 5 days, influenza or the flu lasts for more than five days. Also, the chances of complications are higher if you suffer from the flu. It is seen that people down with the flu may develop respiratory conditions such as pneumonia, strep throat, bronchitis.
The risk of complications is higher in people with low immunity, diabetes, heart disease and those with respiratory problems.
How To Manage The Flu And Cold Effectively?
The yearly flu vaccination is perhaps one of the easiest and effective methods of preventing the flu. Across India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) promotes compulsory vaccination as well for people with severe diseases, including such liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), blood disorders, bronchial asthma, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, leukemia, and immunocompromised individuals.
With winter around the corner, the chances of getting affected by the flu and cold are undoubtedly. This is why you need to be extremely careful this season and pull up your socks before the flu knocks you down. Ask your doctor to know more about influenza vaccination today!