It can be difficult to know the difference between a cold and the flu since they share so much in common.
They tend to have some of the same symptoms, both of which can leave you feeling awful and sick.
The truth is while the cold and flu ARE similar, there are enough differences that can allow you to figure out which one you are suffering from.
Figuring out which you are suffering from will help you decide how to treat your symptoms.
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COLD AND THE FLU
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While a test done by your family doctor is really the only accurate way to know whether you have a common cold or the flu, the differences between the two can allow you to make an educated guess.
- Moderate to high fever in some cases
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
- Body aches
- Runny and stuffy nose
- Nausea and vomiting (commonly in children)
- Severe long-term exhaustion
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or a runny nose
- Body aches or a headache
- Mild fatigue
HOW LONG DOES A COLD VIRUS LAST?
Flu symptoms tend to come on rather quickly and severely, lasting from 1 to 2 weeks.
Cold symptoms gradually develop over a few days and are often much milder than those experienced with the flu.
A cold usually gets better within 7 to 10 days.
Sometimes determining the difference between a flu bug and a cold can be as simple as looking at how fast you became ill.
If it seemed to come on out of the blue and is severe, it’s more likely to be the flu than it is to be a cold.
If you suspect you have the flu it is a good idea to get to your doctor within 48 hours to be examined.
HOW DO YOU GET OVER A COLD QUICKLY?
While a cold can last for up to 2 weeks, there are some ways you can help relieve some of your cold symptoms.
STAY HYDRATED — drink lots of water
SOOTHE A SORE THROAT — throat lozenges or warm tea with honey is a great way to soothe sore throats.
HUMIDIFIER — Using a humidifier will add moisture to the air around you making it easier to breathe.
DIFFUSER — Using a diffuser with high quality essential oils such as eucalyptus can be soothing and helpful.
REST! — this can be a tough one for parents, but getting some extra sleep is a must.
While the flu and a common cold can have similar symptoms, it is important to pay attention to them and monitor them as they come.
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