Do You Have a Cold or Flu: Understand the Symptoms

Do You Have a Cold or Flu: Understand the Symptoms

June 1, 2023

Since most signs are similar, it’s tough to tell whether you have the flu or a cold. For example, both spread during the cold months and affect the upper respiratory system, different viruses cause flu and cold. The influenza virus can cause flu, but other viruses cause colds. Cold symptoms are milder.

Patients improve within 1 week or 10 days. However, those with flu take a bit shorter (less than 2 weeks). But flu symptoms are more serious. In a few cases, it can also cause serious complications like ear infections, sinus infections, pneumonia, or bronchitis.

What is Common Cold?

A common cold is an upper respiratory infection that affects the throat, sinuses, nose, and windpipe. As the name implies, it is widespread. More than 200 viruses can result in a cold.

What is a Flu?

Flu is a viral infection that affects the nose, lungs, and throat. It spreads via droplets that move the body of other individuals. It can be deadly in people with high risks.

Difference Between Flu and Common Cold Symptoms

The main difference between the flu and the common cold is that patients experience chills and fever with the flu. Moreover, the flu also leads to more serious signs when compared to the common cold and might need flu treatment in Houston. Although both conditions are contagious, the complications of flu can be dangerous.

So, if your signs are serious, get a flu or cold diagnosis immediately. The doctor will perform certain tests to help you determine what is behind your signs. Getting flu medicine earliest will help you minimize the severity of the illness and cut off the time you are sick.

Remember, the flu just needs time to make the person feel normal. Most flu cases are mild enough and are easily treatable at home without needing urgent care flu treatment in Houston. Therefore, when you first see your flu signs, make sure you avoid contact with people by staying at home. If you are diagnosed with flu symptoms, tell this to the person you came in touch with on the day before the start of your signs.

Flu Symptoms

The signs of the flu are much worse than the common cold. It stays for a long time and also occurs suddenly.

  • High fever (100 to 102 deg Fah), mainly in young kids. It usually stays for 3 to 4 days.
  • Common headache.
  • Severe pain.
  • Usual fatigue and weakness that stays for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Extreme exhaustion at the start of illness.
  • Stuffy nose, sore throat, and sneezing sometimes.
  • Common cough and chest discomfort but can become severe.

Cold Symptoms

Cold symptoms usually stay for 1 to 2 weeks. It can occur at any time of the year but are most common in early spring and late winter.

  • Mild fever occurs sometimes.
  • Occasional headache.
  • Slight pain.
  • Weakness and fatigue sometimes.
  • Stuffy nose and sore throat.
  • Sneezing occurs on a usual basis.
  • Mild to moderate chest discomfort.

How to Treat the Flu or a Common Cold?

Although there is no cure for colds, taking care of yourself can help you minimize the symptoms quickly. In most cases, it gets better without any treatment (which usually takes one week to ten days). Here is what you can do:

  • Use saline nasal wash.
  • Take proper rest.
  • Humidify the air.
  • Take a lot of liquids.
  • Using medicines to ease symptoms like cough, body pain, fever, and congestion.
  • Using nasal sprays, cough syrups, and decongestants.

In the case of the flu, the doctor recommends influenza antiviral drugs. The treatment works only when started as soon as possible as the symptom begins. Influenza antiviral drugs minimize the time and symptoms when the treatment begins within one to two days after the flu sign starts.

Flu shots are essential, especially for vulnerable groups. Kids, pregnant ladies, adults of 65 and above, and people with medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and asthma are usually at a high risk of flu complications. A flu vaccine is available in different forms: nasal spray, injectable shots, intradermal shots, and high-dose injectable shots.

If you are at a high risk of serious flu complications, contact the doctor at Memorial Heights Emergency Center for urgent care services.

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