Many times, people get a little confused when it comes to severe cold and flu symptoms. It can be a little hard to know the difference between the two conditions. This is especially because they both have some of the same signs. But, having a little clarity about the differences between these two illnesses can help you decide on the best ways to treat your condition.
Defining the Cold and Flu
A common cold is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract. It can cause a lot of discomfort. But, it usually passes quickly, within one or two weeks. A cold can spread through the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes. It can also spread through physical contact. If a person who has a cold touches an item, like a toy or blanket, it can make other people sick when they touch the same object. Sharing utensils can spread the virus, too. A cold virus enters the body through the nose, eyes, or mouth. Of course, you can get a cold any time of the year. But, people tend to get colds during the cooler months, especially during winter and fall.
Influenza, or the flu, is also a viral infection. It normally takes a couple of days to feel the impact of the flu. This viral infection affects the lungs, nose, and throat. Like a cold, the flu is contagious and can spread through the air. It is passed around in most of the same ways as a common cold: coughing, sneezing, talking, physical contact, and so forth. Unless the condition is extremely severe or causes other complications, people can get better within about one or two weeks.
Comparing Severe Cold and Flu Symptoms
Again, both of these conditions have similar signs and symptoms. That’s why people get a little mixed up with severe cold and flu signs. But, let’s take a look at the differences between colds and flus:
Cold: People don’t usually get a fever.
Flu: Normally, those who have the flu with have a fever.
Cold: If you have a cold, you most likely won’t have chills.
Flu: You’ll probably experience chills.
Cold: People who have colds usually sneeze a lot.
Flu: Sneezing doesn’t happen as often.
Cold: This condition doesn’t usually cause aches and pains.
Flu: Most of the time, people feel muscle aches when they have the flu.
Cold: Sometimes, you might have a headache if you have a cold.
Flu: You’re more likely to have a headache if you have the flu.
Cold: Common colds can make individuals feel fatigued and tired. But, they rarely make people feel extremely exhausted.
Flu: Total exhaustion is common with the flu.
How to Prevent Severe Cold and Flu Conditions
These illnesses are different in a couple of ways. But, you can use some of the same methods to prevent yourself from getting them. You can prevent severe cold and flu symptoms by washing your hands a lot. Also, try to avoid being around the viruses as much as you can. Encourage those who are sick to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. Do not use the same cups or utensils as someone who is ill. If a family member is or has recently been sick, disinfect and clean your home as well as you can.
Treating a Severe Cold and Flu
If you have either of these viral infections, you should absolutely see your doctor. If he or she prescribes a medication for your treatment, don’t worry! The RX Helper is here to help people get pricey medication at little to no cost. Some of the prescriptions we help with can treat severe cold and flu symptoms. If you would like more information about our prescription assistance prescription program, contact us today.