Do I Have A Cold Or The Flu?

Posted By: benzer | December 4, 2017
Flu V/s Cold - How do know which one you are suffering from?

It’s that time of year. Social events, cold weather, family gatherings and the inevitable stress often bring symptoms like a sore throat or body aches. However, you are unsure if you have the flu. If you should go to the doctor. Common cold symptoms and signs of the flu often look very similar. After years of treating families, Benzer Pharmacy has been able to compile this comprehensive guide to understanding the differences between them.

What Is The Flu?

The flu is a severe respiratory illness caused by the influenza A, B and C viruses. The flu is most prominent in the winter and early spring seasons but can appear throughout the year, in any climate. Symptoms of this ailment include high fever, body aches, coughing, chest pain and fatigue. After acquiring it, you are contagious 1 day before symptoms develop and approximately a week after. Moreover, it can be transmitted by sneezes, coughs, doorknobs or other surfaces that have been touched by an infected person.

What Is The Common Cold?

The common cold is a respiratory infection. Over 100 separate viruses can cause a common cold. Colds can be acquired at any time of the year, although they are most common in winter months. Common colds are most contagious 2 to 4 days after exposure to the virus. Colds can be spread in the same way as the flu: by exposure to an infected person’s germs.

Symptoms

Symptoms

Common Cold Flu
Viral

Yes

Yes

Respiratory Infection

Yes

Yes

Runny or Stuffy Nose

Yes

Yes

Sore Throat

Yes

Yes

Fatigue

Mild

Severe

Headache

Yes

Yes

Dry Cough

No

Yes

Body Chills

No

Yes

Body or Muscle Ache

Mild

Severe

Nausea or Vomiting

No

Yes

Diagnosing

Colds are relatively short-lived compared to the flu, typically lasting 7 to 10 days. Colds tend to develop gradually while flu symptoms can appear overnight. The flu duration is usually 1 to 2 weeks. Symptoms can be used as a guide to determine which of the two ailments you might have but the easiest way is to see a doctor. Luckily, diagnosing is as simple as a quick swab by a doctor to the back of the nose or throat.

Preventing 

Since both the ailments are acquired by exposure to the virus, the risk of both can be reduced by practicing good health habits. When those around you appear to be sick, keep your distance. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth. The best way to prevent the flu virus is to be vaccinated. Although there is no vaccination for the common cold, there are options for alleviating symptoms.

Benzer Pharmacy offers yearly flu shots that protect against the virus. Every year the virus changes and last year’s vaccinations will not help protect against this year’s flu. Stop by your local Benzer Pharmacy today for free, personalized health advice from our highly trained pharmacists and health professionals.

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