Cold and Flu (Influenza): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Cold and Flu (Influenza): Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

The common cold- includes chest cold &/or head cold  

Both cold and seasonal flu are caused by viruses

Usage over-the-counter OTC cold medications to relieve symptoms including sore throat, runny nose, congestion, and cough are also advised to be taken under medical supervision. 

Flu symptoms (are similar) - additionally include fever, headache, and muscle soreness. Here medical consultation becomes a necessity for prescription of ideal antiviral medications

Lets compare Flu or Cold Symptoms?

Common symptoms:

  • sneezing,
  • coughing, 
  • achy, 
  • feverish, 
  • can't move a muscle feeling 

Why to diagnose whether cold symptoms or the flu is present?

Cold - milder respiratory illness than the flu. 

Cold symptoms persist for few days

Flu symptoms persist for a few days to weeks. (if not treated may result in serious health problems such as pneumonia and emergency hospitalizations).

After justifying the need to distinguish between flu and cold symptoms lets elaborate each individually:

Common Cold Symptoms - In Synchronizing Orders

  1. sore throat (day or two)
  2. Nasal symptoms
  3. runny nose
  4. congestion follow
  5. along with a cough by the fourth and fifth days
  6. Fever is uncommon in adults
  7. Children are more likely to have a fever with a cold.
  8. nose teems with watery nasal secretions for the first few days (a week or so)
  9.  Later, nasal secretion becomes thicker and darker. 

Etiology:: Several hundred different viruses may cause your cold symptoms.

How long do cold symptoms last?- Cold symptoms usually last for about a week. 

When is cold contagious:- During the first three days means the patient can pass the cold to others. 

What and when if cold symptoms don’t go away:-Patient may have a bacterial infection and need antibiotics.

When to check to the doctor for cold?---check with a doctor to see if a patient developed an allergy or sinusitis even if after 10-12 days cold symptoms doesn’t go off

Common Flu Symptoms - In Synchronizing Order

(Flu symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms)

  1.  sore throat 
  2. fever, 
  3. headache,
  4. muscle aches, 
  5. soreness, 
  6. congestion, 
  7. cough, 
  8. vomiting,
  9.  diarrhea

When flu improve ?--- after two to five days, (still not uncommon to feel run down for a week or more) 

What are common complications of the flu?--- pneumonia, lung, or heart problems? 

When to visit doctor ?--- if shortness of breath present

Flu viruses also enter the body through the mucous membranes of the nose, eyes, or mouth. 

Is it flu or cold symptoms?----record temperature as Flu mimic cold on contrary a common cold doesn’t have a fever above 101 degrees. 

Standard flu season: highlighting fall to spring of the next year.

When emergency medical attention is required?

In adults,

  1. Severe chest pain
  2. Severe headache
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Dizziness
  5. Confusion
  6. Persistent vomiting

In children,

  1. Difficulty breathing or rapid breathing
  2. Bluish skin color
  3. Not drinking enough fluids
  4. Lethargy and failure to interact normally
  5. Extreme irritability or distress
  6. Symptoms that were improving and then suddenly worsen
  7. Fever with a rash

How To Prevent The Flu Or Cold?

  1. frequent hand washing
  2. flu vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza 
  3. maintain social distancing

Flu Treatment

  •  Flu Medications
  • Choosing OTC Drugs
  • Antiviral Drugs
  • Antibiotics dependent on symptoms

Common Cold Treatment: treatment has two goals: to control symptoms and boost immunity