Winter is fast approaching and with this cold season also comes the season for colds and flus. Many people confuse the two terms as being the same but catching the flu is much more severe than the cold.
Cold and flu are both viral respiratory illnesses. The common cold can be caused by any one of the 200 different viruses whereas the flu is caused by one of the 3 different influenza viruses – A, B or C. The flu, otherwise known as influenza, is often confused with the common cold because they share similar symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose and cough. However flu symptoms also include fever, headaches, severe muscle aches, cold sweats and even nausea and vomiting (read more: WedMD).
Cold symptoms usually last for a few days to a week. It is a virus infection so your body’s immune system can fight off the virus. However if it persists for more than a week you may have a bacterial infection, which means you need to take antibiotics. It is considered a mild illness so you are able to keep going with your daily routine. Flu symptoms typically last for a week but can make you feel run-down for up to two or three weeks.
Colds and flus are highly infectious diseases which can spread easily from person to person. Once infected, you yourself become contagious and can spread the viruses. Both cold and flu spreads through sneezes or coughs that sends droplets containing the viruses flying through the air. Or these droplets can land on a surface such as a doorknob or countertop and contaminate it.
According to Healthline, the best remedy for both colds and flus are to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. It is advised to stay at home to avoid passing on your infection. As colds and flus are more prevalent during the colder seasons, more precaution must be taken in order to prevent spreading the dreadful disease. Staying home and resting also better allows your body to fight the infection and recover.
For more information and how to prevent this disease: See your GP, or book an appointment with one of our doctors at Southgate Medical Centre.