If you have never experienced a cold or flu, you may wonder, “Can I catch it from someone else?” This article will walk you through the causes, symptoms, and treatments for both. We’ll also cover ways to avoid getting ill with either one. This will make it easier to identify the cause of your illness. You’ll also be better able to treat yourself should you become sick.
The difference between a cold and the flu is more than merely the presence of a common upper respiratory tract infection. While colds and influenza have similar symptoms, they differ in many ways. First, colds tend to affect the nose and sinuses, while flu and its more severe cousin, the flu, affect the whole body. Another critical difference between a cold and the flu is that a cold may also include symptoms of the throat and eyes.
When a person has a cold or flu, they will usually experience a fever. This is because the body has to raise its temperature to fight infection. It does this by sending signaling molecules and hormones to the brain. A cold may cause a mild fever, while a flu virus causes a high fever. While most people will have some of the same symptoms, a fever is more likely to occur if someone has the flu virus.
A typical cold or flu is characterized by high temperature, runny nose, and chills. It may also be accompanied by headaches, muscle aches, and weakness. These symptoms can make you feel sluggish and unable to function normally. The cold can also lead to further serious problems, including respiratory diseases. It is therefore essential to consult a doctor as soon as you feel the signs of a cold or flu.
Being around sick people is also a cause of cold and flu. Many viruses that cause colds and flu are airborne and can be easily inhaled. Being around a sick person can spread the virus to others, and people in close contact with them may be at risk of contracting it. Several factors increase your chances of getting colds or the flu, including inadequate sleep, exposure to cold-infected people, and exposure to unfavorable environmental conditions.
Several treatments are available for the common cold, including antihistamines, decongestants, zinc, and heated, humidified air. Medications are also available over-the-counter, such as acetaminophen and chlorpheniramine. Some of these anti-inflammatory drugs cause drowsiness but do not treat the infection. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, consult your physician for a more comprehensive treatment.
Common cold and flu symptoms typically begin about one to two days after infection and include a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fatigue. These symptoms are typical for colds and are signs of your immune system fighting an infection. When compared to influenza, symptoms are more severe. A high fever, mucus discharge, and a runny nose are common signs of influenza. Typically, the cold lasts about a day, but it can progress to bronchitis, a much more severe condition. Coughing is an essential part of the cold and flu treatment process, as it helps to rid the body of the virus.
While antihistamines do not kill viruses, they treat bacterial complications that may result from cold or flu. Antibiotics can decrease the effectiveness of other treatments, especially since overuse can lead to antibiotic resistance among bacteria. The vaccine can be either live or inactivated, depending on the symptoms you experience. Live-attenuated influenza vaccines are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and contain 1 type B virus and two subtypes of A.
Although a run-of-the-mill cold is not dangerous and should not prevent you from enjoying the benefits of a good quality of life, you should be aware of the symptoms and precautions to avoid cold and flu. While most colds are not severe and do not require a doctor’s visit, they can develop into more serious illnesses. Symptoms of a bitter cold include a high fever, shortness of breath, and worsening condition. Unlike colds, flu is caused by a virus known as influenza.
While colds are generally self-limiting viral infections, you should contact your local Health Center if you develop any symptoms. While colds are usually self-limiting, you should visit the Health Center if you notice any of these symptoms or if you have other underlying conditions. You can follow simple steps such as hand-washing often to help prevent a cold from developing into the flu. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer to wash your hands frequently, especially after using the restroom. Another good idea is to wear a mask if you’re out in public or have close contact with others.
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