It has been raining constantly for the past few weeks and the weather has made it feel like the winter season has officially crept in. Waking up with a runny nose, scratchy throat and an aching body is sure to get one confused on whether you have a cold or flu.
There is actually a difference that many people are unaware of, therefore self treatment is often misguided. The common cold normally starts with a scratchy throat that tends to be a minor irritation that will be over within a few days. Whereas with the flu, you can be incapacitated for a week or longer and can lead to a number of complications such as pneumonia. Flu seasons are unpredictable, and the flu vaccine is designed each year to protect against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season.
While the Flu season changes each year, it is advised the an individual gets a flu shot every April. Basically, knowing the difference helps to better understand what you’re dealing with. It is also advisable to go see your GP should you feel the symptoms of a cold or flu. Eating right and drinking a lot of fluids (water) is essential to keeping the immune system strong enough to fight off the flu virus.
Below is a table explaining the difference between a cold and Flu:
Cold vs. Flu
Source: Fedhealthy magazine, issue