We are in a cold season and we know winter is very effective to spread of flu and colds and although both have different infectious processes that share certain characteristics in this two diseases and also affected by different viruses.
But both flu and cold share several common symptoms, which can lead us to confusion. So today we are going to talk about the differences among this two very common virus that exist between one and the other.
How is flu different from a cold?
Flu is a respiratory infection which caused by the virus of the family Influenza. Its incubation period is between 18-36 hours and we start noticing the symptom of the disease after 48-72 hours of being infected. The symptoms can stay last for 5-7 days and it is a very contagious disease that is transmitted to others very quickly.
On the other side, the cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract and mostly focusing on the nose. There are more than 200 viruses that can cause a cold and are usually contagious during the first 2-4 days after the onset of symptoms.
Differences between flu and cold:
If we want to figure out the most common differences between fly and cold we must have to pay attention to the following symptoms:
Symptoms of the flu:
The most common symptoms of the flu are high fever (up to 40 °c), sore throat, headache, muscle aches, dry cough, weakness, loss of appetite and fatigue. Although they are less frequent, nasal congestion, mucus, and tearing of the eyes may also occur during the flu.
Symptoms of the Cold:
The most common symptoms of the cold are a runny nose. You may feel nasal congestion and sneezing, the eye may get irritation and it may also appear pain or a sore throat, cough, and headache.
Most of the time common cold does not usually become the cause of fever, except for some children; but the flu can be a cause of fever in most of the time and usually the temperature rise above 38 °c.
Duration of symptoms:
Flu usually last for up to 5-10 days. Flu-like fever usually stays for 5-7 days, a dry cough between 7-10 days, and the fatigue causes can last up to 15 days. In contrast, a cold does not stay more than 7 days, and cough can be prolonged until two weeks later.
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As you can see that these two viruses infected diseases have the similar symptoms that can sometimes make us so confused and it takes sometimes to figure out what type of illness we face, so the best thing is to do is to go to the doctor quickly to make a diagnosis.
One thing I have to remind you that do not make the mistake of taking antibiotics for viral diseases. Most of the time we don’t care about to take such medication for this kind of illness. Symptoms of both cold and flu can be treated with other medications such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, compound anti-flu, antitussive syrups, decongestants, antihistamines or steroids.