Is it a cold or the flu?

Difference Between Cold and Flu Virus

Do you have a cold or is it the flu?  Both illnesses are viral.  However, there are differences. If you know the signs you can decide whether you need to see a doctor or settle on bed rest.

Flu Virus Symptoms.

As a rule, flu symptoms don’t tarry. They occur right away.  Signs of the flu include:

  • High fever 
  • Muscle and joint ache 
  • Lethargy
  • Eyes that won’s stop watering
  • A throat that feels like it is on fire
  • A cough that is parched
  • A nose that runs constantly
  • Possible diarrhea

Generally, these are flu signs that appear quickly.  Furthermore, if these signs appear as well , it is important to get medical help immediately.

  • Shallow breathing
  • A significant pain in the chest or stomach
  • An onset of dizziness
  • Uncontrollable vomiting

Flu Virus Treatment 

The best treatment for the flu is to stay in bed and drink liquids: tea or orange juice.  Most importantly, do not  go around other germs.  Doctors will give medications only in severe cases.  Gone are the days with a simple dose of antibiotics. As a result, too many patients have developed an immunity to antibiotics.  Therefore antibiotics are no longer an effective treatment. 

Cold Symptoms

Unlike flu symptoms, cold symptons appear gradually.  They sneek up on you. Cold symptoms include:

  • A sore throat that may come and go
  • A runny nose
  • Congestion ( feeling stopped up)
  • Coughing
  • A low grade fever ( a temperature that is close to 99 degrees)
  • A runny nose that becomes a thick and sometimes dark consistency

Cold Treatment

As mentioned, cold symptoms appear gradually .  For instance , the first day you may have a sore throat.  Next, you develop the sniffles. Before you know it you’re stopped up and coughing.  Children are more likely to have the low grade fever.  Also, the presence of dark mucus does not necessarily mean a bacterial infection.  

Cold symptoms usually last 7-10 days.  Similar to flu treatments, it is best to stay in bed, drink fluids and perhaps take a over the counter decongestion.  This will help you sleep and accelerate recuperation.

Tis the season for the cold and flu.  Hope this helps.

Health Staff Writer

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