Cold or Flu: Common Cold and Flu Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

The typical symptoms of common cold and flu are involved like painfulness in the body, throat, head, or puffing nose.

The start of common cold or flu is the same, but it is vital to distinguish between the two to follow the correct treatment. Whereas both flu and cold are breathing disorders, but the flu symptoms are more worsen than cold and cough.

Though both diseases bring a bad impact on the nose, throat, air passages, and lungs. It is quite challenging to distinguish them correctly.

Actually, getting down a common cold as a minimum once a year is normal, but suffering from flu is not a usual thing.

Therefore, what is the difference between cold and flu? Many patients are unable to distinguish between the two infections and end up taking medications from the drugstore.

This self-treatment habit should be stopped as flu can often develop into severe health problems like dehydration, pneumonia, sinus, and ear infections.

Cold or Flu

Meanwhile, both cold and the flu are triggered through viruses, the simplest way to know the change is to explore some signs.

Though there are many common cold viruses, the two key types of flu viruses are influenza A and B. The symptoms of the two syndromes are the same that it becomes hard to identify them separately.

The start of cold is typically slow; often begins with a painful throat, the signs and symptoms of flu.

Common cold signs are commonly minor than the flu, as the symptoms of the seasonal flu are far stronger and may even cause severe medical problems, including pneumonia.

Symptoms of Common Cold and Flu

The seasonal flu and the common cold are both occurred through viruses. There are over 200 forms of viruses that can cause these upsetting symptoms, but the most common type is the rhinovirus.

Rhinovirus is responsible for about 10-40% of the common cold. But it rarely occurs severe problems.

RSV causes about 20% of the common cold. It is similar stress of a virus, which may cause severe health issues like respiratory disorders in kids.

Alternatively, the seasonal flu is most commonly spread by the influenza viruses (A, B, and C), which spread if someone sneeze or cough without covering his or her mouth and drops the virus in the air.

Read More6 Life-Saving Health Tips of the Day: Cure Fever, Cold & Cough

You may also suffer from flu after touching any objects which have the virus on them and then touching your own eyes, mouth, or nose.

In most cases, there is no symptom available that can help you to find out the common cold. Just visit a doctor, they will observe you at signs and advise a course of treatment.

For the flu, the doctor will conduct a body test, as well as cleansing the back of the throat or nose. It is called an influenza test. It will give a rapid outcome within 15 minutes.

Here are some common cold or flu symptoms that you can distinguish from the seasonal flu:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Noise Blocking
  • Rough voice
  • Sneezing
  • Mild fever
  • Dry throat
  • Mild headache

People with severe cold and cough may feel other symptoms, including:

  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Shaking

These symptoms may get worse for people who already are suffering from respiratory disorders like Asthma. The cold symptoms may continue up to a week and get worsen awfully for the first three days. Remember that if you don’t feel better within 7-10 days, you may have a bacterial infection and may need an antibiotics dose.

Symptoms of a Seasonal Flu

Flu symptoms may occur without any sign and often have severe symptoms than cold. One of the primary methods of distinguishing between the common cold and flu is a mild fever. If you experience that you are about 1010 Fahrenheit, you possibly suffering from flu.

Here are some typical symptoms of flu:

  • Sudden fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Anxieties
  • Joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Exhaustion

Although you don’t need to visit a doctor for seasonal flu, see some severe symptoms of seasonal flu below:

  • Fever more than 103 Fahrenheit
  • Breathing problem
  • Stomach pain
  • Fainting
  • Vomiting
  • Severe sinus pain

Warning Signs of Seasonal Flu in Children:

  • Not wanting to be held
  • Tears in the period of crying
  • Breathing problem
  • Bluish tinge in the color of the skin

How to Prevent Common flu or Cold

The easy way to avoid any type of virus-related infection like the common cold and flu is to sustain good hygiene. It is vital because when someone comes in to contact a cold or flu, he/she becomes contagious within 24 hours without symptoms. Here are some best ways on how to limit your contact with cold or flu viruses.

1.  Hand Washing

You have to be habituated to washing hands before eating, after using the toilet or even public transport; if somebody sneezes or coughs about you. Though hand washing is not possible in all places, it is suggested to carry sanitizer regularly. Your sanitizer should contain a minimum of 60% of alcohol content.

2. Try to Avoid Crowded Places

Try avoiding overcrowded places at the time of the cold and flu season. Similarly, try using a mask on your mouth if somebody is suffering from a cold and flu.

Read More: Health Benefits of Echinacea for Curing Cold, Flu or a Cough

3. Get a flu Vaccine

To prevent cold and flu, you can also get a vaccine for the seasonal flu.

4. Try removing coughs and sneezes by using your elbow and not your hands as it should not spread the virus.

5. Clean all the common objects that you regularly use like smartphones, door handles, tabletops, counters, tap handles, keyboards, etc.

6. Try not to touch your face after coughing or sneezing.

7. Stop smoking as it causes the worsening symptoms of a cold.

8. Try using paper towels rather than using cloth towels to stop contamination

How to Treat a Common Cold at Home?

As the main culprit is a virus for occurring common cold, taking antibiotic medications will not do everything. Here are some ways on how to ease the symptoms:

  • Drink a sufficient amount of water to stop dehydration
  • Take Rest as much as possible.
  • Over-the-counter medications can relieve the symptoms.

At this time, there is no definite cure for the cold, but some home remedies can avoid the pain like:

  • Gargling
  • Taking vapor
  • Sipping on warm fluids

How to Treat Seasonal Flu?

A few antiviral medications that can be suggested to treat the flu-like:

  • Peramivir (Rapivab)
  • Oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
  • Zanamivir (Relenza)

Saidur Rahman
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