It might be challenging to distinguish between the flu and a typical cold. Both respiratory viral diseases share several symptoms in common.
Both the common cold and the flu are contagious, although the cold’s symptoms are often less severe and go away in a week to ten days. Although most individuals with the flu recover in less than two weeks, significant complications can arise, including pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus or ear infections, and more severe symptoms.
Antibiotics are not helpful since viruses, not bacteria, cause colds and the flu. But with flu and cold natural medicine can help manage the symptoms.
Flu and Cold Symptoms
The flu and colds impact the respiratory system, although the flu usually has more severe symptoms. A variety of viruses can bring on a cold. However, the majority of these viruses produce pretty similar symptoms.
The following symptoms of the common cold and flu may be present:
- Body pains
- unwell throat
- nasal clogging
Unlike the cold, the flu can come often and is accompanied by fever. Chills are used to the flu but are unfamiliar with a cold.
How to Diagnose Flu and Cold?
Although PCR-based tests may be used to check for common colds, they are often only given to hospital patients with pneumonia or a severe respiratory tract infection. They are generally not accessible to the general population for routine usage. To rule out conditions like pneumonia or strep throat, your doctor may conduct tests or X-rays if your symptoms are more severe.
Doctors occasionally employ a quick influenza diagnostic test to identify the flu. Testing for viral influenza antigens (substances that trigger your immune system to produce antibodies) uses swab samples taken from the back of the throat or nose. The average turnaround time for test results is less than 15 minutes. However, they are rarely correct. Other accurate flu tests are only available in medical facilities or specialist labs.
Cold and Flu Medication and Treatment Options
The flu and the common cold have no known treatments. Over-the-counter remedies can relieve bodily pains, headaches, coughing, and throat pain. They can also clear out sinus and nasal congestion.
In particular, for those with underlying problems like high blood pressure, cold medications and painkillers might have adverse effects and pose health hazards. Aspirin has been associated with Reye’s syndrome, a potentially fatal disorder. Therefore, children and teens with flu-like symptoms should never use it for pain or fever.
Antiviral prescription medications can treat the flu, especially in people more likely to develop problems (such as those with heart disease, diabetes, or asthma). These medications can minimize the intensity of symptoms, shorten the duration of your illness, and prevent complications when given within two days after the onset of flu symptoms.
Conclusion: Cold and Flu Prevention
Everyone six months of age and older receives the flu shot yearly to prevent contracting the illness in the first place (unless they have already experienced a severe adverse response). Public health professionals predict these viruses will be the most prevalent throughout the forthcoming flu season. Thus, these vaccinations protect against them. Although no vaccine prevents the common cold, using natural remedies and maintaining excellent hygiene will lower your chance of getting sick or infecting others.