Sometimes people believe they have the flu, when in fact; they are actually suffering from conventional cold symptoms. While both the cold and flu are classified as respiratory illnesses, they originate from different viruses. Cold viruses may attack any time of the year, whereas strains of the flu generally strike from October to May.
Your family doctor will tell you that a cold is much milder than the flu. A cold typically begins with a sore throat followed by nasal symptoms. A runny nose and congestion generally occur within the first few days at the onset of a cold. A fever sometimes accompanies these symptoms, but it is more likely to appear in children than in adults. If the cold symptoms last longer than a week, then a bacterial infection may have formed and it should be treated immediately.
The symptoms that are exhibited in a cold can also be commonly seen in cases of the flu. However, flu symptoms are much more pronounced. If you have a fever, a headache, muscle aches, congestion, a sore throat, and a runny nose, you need to immediately start treating the symptoms. It is not uncommon for flu symptoms to lead to pneumonia in the very young or in the elderly.
During the early flu season, or during the fall, practicing prevention against the flu is imperative. Both cold and flu viruses enter the body by way of the mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, and mouth. Therefore, each time you touch these body parts, you can be infecting yourself.
Basic prevention includes frequently washing your hands, covering sneezes or coughs with your elbow (not your hands), and disinfecting frequently used surfaces. Also, stay home when you are sick so you don’t pass your illness along to others.
That is why it is also important to get a flu shot from your family doctor or an urgent care facility. If you find it difficult to schedule an appointment at your doctor’s office, then you can always visit a local facility, such as the North American Emergency Medical Center (NAEMC) to obtain a flu shot. You can also connect them on Facebook for more updates.