What is the Difference Between the Flu and a Cold?
While colds and the flue, or influenza, are both respiratory illnesses and are both caused by illnesses, they are actually quite different. Most people actually confuse these two illnesses, mostly due to the fact that some of their symptoms actually overlap. So when you develop a sore, scratchy throat, headache, running nose, among others, it is difficult to tell if you have the flu or a cold. It is important to know the difference between the two so that you know when to distinguish between them, especially since these two are the most common illnesses in humans, and every year a significant percentage of the world’s population suffer from them, as per the facts and figures provided and discussed in detail by the experts over at frontlineer.com. To help you with differentiating between the two, this article will look to highlight the differences that are there between these two respiratory illnesses.
The very first thing that you should know as far as the differences between the two is concerned is that the symptoms of influenza are usually more severe than those of a cold. Cold symptoms are milder and in most cases may only make you feel ill for a few days or so, while on the other hand flu symptoms are much more intense and severe and not only will you feel worse, you will do so for longer, even weeks in certain situations. Another major difference between the two is that they are both caused by different viruses. The flu is caused by the influenza virus types A, B and C and as is covered in detail over at frontlineer.com, Type A and B viruses are the ones that cause the majority of cases of flu that are out there with type C only causing milder respiratory symptoms. It is also worth noting that while you can immunize yourself from type A and B viruses through the flu vaccine, you can’t immunize yourself from the type C virus. As far as the cold is concerned, while there are more than 200 types of viruses out there that can cause the common cold, the most common one, and the one that is responsible for more than 50% of cases of cold out there is the rhinovirus with examples of other viruses that cause the cold being coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus among others. This is a major difference as far as these two are concerned.
Next up we are going to look at the differences between the two that exist as far as their symptoms are concerned. One of the main differences between the two is that cases of the flu usually include a fever, something that is rare when it comes to the cold. If you have the flu, you may suffer from fever, which can 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and can last any time between 3 to 5 days. Fever in flu also comes on suddenly which is one of the ways you can tell if you have the flu or a cold as all these things as pertains fever are rare when it comes to a cold. Another way these two differ in terms of symptoms is that a runny nose or nasal congestion is more common with a cold than the flu. Therefore, if you are experiencing a runny nose as well as a badly congested nose, then chances are you are suffering from a cold as these symptoms are rare when it comes to the flu. Nausea and vomiting is another point of difference as far as these two are concerned and this is something that is not associated with a cold. When it comes to the flu however, as per the subject matter experts over at frontlineer.com, it is quite common, especially in children and is often accompanied by diarrhea and abdominal pain. It is however important to note that nausea and vomiting are rare in adults as far as the flu is concerned.
Another difference between the two is that, while both of them come with fatigue, the fatigue that comes with a cold is mild. On the flipside, not only is the fatigue that comes with the flu intense and extreme, it can persist for longer, sometimes even weeks as is revealed in discussions over at the excellent frontlineer.com. Another difference as far as the two are concerned is that one is more likely to develop life-threatening complications such as pneumonia from the flu as opposed to a cold, which as mentioned above, is much more mild in comparison and thus unlikely to escalate any further. Headaches are also very rare when you have a cold; on the other hand, headaches are very common if you have the flu and they can be quite severe in some instances. The same applies for aches and pains which are on one hand rare and mild if there in colds while being very common and quite intense sometimes in cases of the flu.
The above are some of the differences that exist between the flu and a cold, wand you can learn more about each of them by heading over to the excellent frontlineer.com