What’s the difference between a cold and the flu? Learn the differences in our blog as we break it down. To start, the flu is a viral infection of the respiratory system that is extremely contagious and can result in serious illness, including pneumonia and sometimes fatal complications. The infection can affect anyone at any age. The most common way that the flu is transmitted is through inhaling virus-carrying droplets from sneezes and coughs. Find out how you can get the best treatment in our pharmacy at Kirkham.
What are the causes of the flu?
Want to avoid contracting the flu? The first step is to understand the cause. This condition is distinct from a cold. Colds and influenza (flu) are both contagious respiratory infections, although they are brought on by various viruses. The common cold is caused by a variety of viruses, such as parainfluenza, rhinoviruses, and seasonal coronaviruses, whereas the flu is only brought on by influenza viruses.
Because the symptoms of the flu and the common cold are similar, it can be challenging to distinguish between them based just on symptoms. Flu symptoms are frequently more severe than those of a cold and usually start more suddenly. Those who have colds are more prone to have a runny or stuffy nose than those who have the flu. In most cases, colds do not lead to major medical issues like bacterial infections, pneumonia, or hospitalisations. The flu can lead to serious complications.
What are the symptoms of the flu?
Symptoms of the flu typically appear suddenly. Many people with the flu have any or all of the following symptoms:
– Fever or feeling feverish/chills
– Runny or stuffy nose
– Sore throat
– Muscle or body aches
– Fatigue (tiredness)
– Some people may experience diarrhoea and vomiting
It’s important to remember that not all cases of the flu will result in a fever.
You occasionally need medication to treat or prevent problems from the flu. Antiviral medications can be prescribed by your doctor to reduce your symptoms and speed up the healing process.
Is there a difference between the symptoms of a cold and the flu?
The fact that completely different viral strains cause the flu and a cold sets them apart from one another fundamentally. When compared to flu symptoms, which appear swiftly, cold symptoms are frequently much milder. You can easily tell when you have the flu. This is because you can anticipate having a runny nose, a fever, sore throat, a cough, chills, and achy muscles and joints. A runny nose and a sore throat are typical cold symptoms. The flu is far less prevalent than colds.
How can I treat my symptoms?
Influenza antiviral medications may be a treatment alternative if you become ill with the flu. Antiviral medications work efficiently when used at an early stage, such as 1 to 2 days following the onset of flu symptoms.
If you are more likely to experience significant flu complications and experience flu symptoms, consult your pharmacist or doctor right away. Young children, adults aged 65 and above, pregnant women, and persons with specific medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease are among those who are more vulnerable to flu complications.
How do you avoid catching a cold or the flu?
The annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone older than six months. There are a few exceptions, though. Before receiving the vaccination, people who have severe allergic reactions to chicken eggs may want to speak with their pharmacist.
Anyone who has previously had serious adverse reactions to influenza vaccinations should refrain from receiving the annual flu immunisation. Guillain-Barré syndrome could develop as a result of the vaccination, but this is not common.
Making sure you routinely wash your hands is a critical element of flu prevention. This will help avoid contracting the virus after touching a contaminated surface or object. Remember to use soap and water when washing your hands. If you can’t access soap and water, you can use sanitiser to clean your hands instead.
Other helpful tip includes creating healthy routines like getting enough rest and exercising often, controlling your stress, drinking plenty of water, and maintaining a healthy diet.
Where can I treat my symptoms?
Visit or book your appointment with HMI Pharmacy today to treat minor ailments like the flu.