How Common Cold and Flu are Different from Each Other?

difference cold vs flu

The common cold is a viral disease, it affects mostly on the respiratory system, also known as Coryza. This is the most common contagious disease and it is caused by Rhinoviruses. Scientists opine that human body can never develop a resistance to these viruses, which are responsible for the sickness. Rhinovirus alone is responsible for causing cold in 30%-35% of the adults. Some other well known viruses are Coronavirus, Parainfluenza virus, Adenovirus and respiratory syncytial virus, approximately 200 viruses are held responsible to cause the common cold. New viruses develop and that is the reason why our body cannot build resistance against them.

common cold or flu

What is Flu?

This is also known as influenza, this is highly contagious and effects on the upper respiratory tract. This virus enters the body by the mucus membranes like eyes, nose and mouth. It spreads with the coughing and sneezing of the affected person as virus become airborne and can be inhaled by the persons in the close vicinity. It also spreads by touching the hands of the infected person or the telephone; it may spread by anything, which is contaminated.

Symptoms of a Cold

  • Dry throat
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Mild fever
  • Hoarse voice
  • Blocked nose
  • Mild headache

It is also observed that in 25% of the people, all the symptoms of cold are not visible because of the different immunity power of the individuals.

Symptoms of Flu

  • High temperature
  • Headache
  • Shivering and cold sweat
  • Aching of limbs and joints
  • Feel exhausted
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

cold vs flu difference info

Flu Test

Generally most of the doctors do not opt for the test as they diagnose on the basis of the symptoms. Sometimes it is necessary to go for the test if the symptoms are not clear. Doctor’s advice for test is to make sure that influenza virus is responsible for your disease; you don’t have any other disease silent in your body.

Rapid flu tests have the capability to make the difference between influenza A and influenza B virus. The accuracy of the test depends on two things, quality of the test kit and the sample collection method.

Treatment Based on Symptoms

Treating the patient on the basis of the symptoms is a good practice as it will make him feel better.

  • Take compete rest until you are recovered.
  • You must drink good amount of fluids to remain hydrated. The best formula to know how much fluid is required for your body is to check the color of the urine, a light yellow represents you are drinking the required amount of water for your body whereas dark color shows the shortage of the water.
  • For headaches you can take Acetaminophen or Aspirin. Aspirin is not recommended for the children below 18 years of age.

Antiviral Treatment

You can also take some antiviral medicine to prevent influenza but the medicines cannot treat you magically, they will give some relief in the symptoms only.  So before taking any medicine consult a doctor. People also take natural treatment in flu and the success of the treatment varies from person to person.

I'm NOT a doctor! I'm just passionate about health and healthy leaving. The information on this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The content is not intended to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition.