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Flu versus a cold

By Faeza
08 July 2015

Flu vs Cold

Both the common cold and influenza (also known as the flu) are infectious diseases caused by viruses that affect the body’s respiratory (breathing) system. And while their symptoms can be very similar, there are a number of differences. A cold is a milder illness than a flu.

While cold symptoms may make you feel unwell for a few days, a flu can have you in its icy grip for several weeks and may result in more serious health problems like pneumonia. At its worst, it can be a life threatening sickness. While a cold typically develops slowly over a couple of days, the flu tends to have a more sudden onset: you might feel perfectly fine in the morning, but terribly sick by the end of the day.

Flu usually involves a fever, whereas colds are normally characterised by only mildly raised temperatures. People who have caught flu will often suffer chills, severe aches and pains, weakness, headaches and exhaustion – all of which are generally less common and milder than a cold. Sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose and a sore throat are more common symptoms of a cold than flu, in which coughing tends to be more prominent.

Wash Hands Regularly

Together with keeping your distance from people who display cold and flu symptoms, your most effective prevention method is washing your hands in warm, soapy water to remove any lurking germs.