How to know whether you are having a cold or a flu

Flu and cold may have the same symptoms but they are definitely not the same illness. It is important to know which one you have been infected with because one is much more dangerous than the other and can lead to death. Flu, if left untreated can lead to complications like pneumonia. You shouldn’t think that over-the-counter drugs and hot chicken soup can help in that particular case.

Flu is generally much more severe

The flu comes rather like a surprise. You will still get cold-like symptoms like sore throat and coughing but they are much more intense. Those symptoms are also coupled with headache, muscle aches and congestion. Cold will come on gradually and will be felt by a runny or stuffy nose that will eventually go away in about a weeks time. In the case of flu you will usually feel an improvement in symptoms in just 2 or 5 days.

A fever combine with sore throat doesn’t mean you have flu

Even though flu is characterized by a fever it may still happen that you have a common cold with a slight fever. A flu induced fever will usually reach temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit if not higher.

Flu caused fatigue can last for weeks

In the case of common cold you will usually feel better within some few days. Once the cold is over, you feel your strength back and you are ready to work. In the case of flu you will still feel bad even some few weeks after the flu is over. Flu makes you feel really tired and achy all over your body and it takes more time for you to recover from that.

Flu and risk of pneumonia

Both flu and cold are known to cause a person to cough. The case of flu is much more severe though and can lead to pneumonia if not treated early enough. The virus causing flu may migrate to your lungs and that is when things start getting complicated. If you have difficulty breathing, chest pain as a result of coughing and a fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Other symptoms indicating flu are shortness of breath and coughing up yellow-green or bloody phlegm.

A stuffy nose may rather indicate a cold

Most cases of sneezing and stuffy nose are related to cold. If added to that you feel achy, feverish and so tired then you can think of flu. If you start feeling pains all around your body it might be a good idea to also request for a flu swab test at the hospital. It is a quick 30 minutes test that can quickly allow you to know if it is a flu or a cold infection. Then the doctor can quickly suggest the appropriate drug to help ease the symptoms sooner than later.

Both cold and flu can easily be avoid by simply washing your hands. These are contagious diseases that are passed on from people already infected. During a flu or cold season try to avoid people already infected. Wash your hands with soap and warm water as often as possible. In most cases this infection is not deadly so even if you end up getting infected you will still recover some few days later.