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Difference between cold and influenza (flu)

October 13, 2008



Very often, people tend to mistake common cold as flu and vice versa. The symptoms of cold are different from that of flu.
The main symptoms of common cold include a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, minor throat irritation, mild fever etc. Coloured mucus,which indicates an infection in the immune system, is yet another symptom of cold. When compared to cold, flu is a more serious disease. It is characterised by a sudden rise in temperature and tiredness. It is accompanied by dry cough, shivering and rapid sweating. Muscle ache is a common feature of influenza. When flu affects your entire body, common cold affects your nose and throat.

Taking adequate rest and drinking enough water will make the recuperation easy. Fruit juice should also be included in the patient’s diet. In case of flu, it is advisable to consult a doctor. Annual flu injection is found to check the spread of flu to a considerable extent. However, this does not offer absolute protection from the infection.

It is always better to reduce the intake of antibiotics. Antibiotics generally work well against those infections caused by bacteria. Since both flu and common cold have a viral origin, antibiotics will not have any effect on them. Let your body fight against the infection and gain immunity. Moreover, antibiotics might result in stomach troubles including diarrhoea. You need to take plenty of water in order to check dehydration. Lemon juice and hot honey are found to be effective in the treatment of common cold. Inhaling medicinal steam also helps in clearing the nasal passages by clearing accumulated mucus. Throat lozenges, gargles and throat sprays will be effective in curing sore throat. If you found the symptoms to be intolerable, you can take cold remedies, decongestants and also simple pain relievers.


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