You're feeling unwell with a cough, sore throat, headache and sniffle. Do you know if you have a cold or the flu? Know the difference and treat accordingly. The common cold and influenza are both upper respiratory infections caused by a virus.
- Flu may cause a high-grade fever while a cold may cause a mild fever
- Flu usually start with a dry throat and nose; a cold usually starts with a runny nose
- Flu may cause muscle and body ache; colds affect the nose and throat
- Flu may lead to severe exhaustion; colds may cause mild exhaustion
- Flu may lead to severe chest discomfort and cough, cold leads to mild to moderate chest discomfort, hacking cough.
A flu can lead to more severe complications, such as pneumonia, which is life threatening, cold in severe case causes sinus congestion and middle ear infection.
Both infections are highly infectious & a person can easily be infected through close contact with someone who has the virus, and breathing in droplets of air when someone coughs or sneezes.
- To avoid catching cold wash hands often, avoid close contact with anyone with cold.
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has flu symptoms; get the annual flu vaccine.
- Rest or sleep if you feel tired as your immune system is busy fighting the infection and fever is taxing.
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Warm drinks and lozenges to soothe a sore throat.
- Doctor may prescribe antiviral medication for the flu to reduce its severity and duration.
You can reduce the spread of illnesses by:
- Coughing or sneezing into tissues (and then discarding them).
- Cleaning your hands (with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitisers), especially when you've meet someone who is unwell.
- Avoid coughing or sneezing over others or surfaces, such as tables, benches and door handles.
- Avoiding touching your eyes and nose.