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Health & Fit Cold Vs. Flu: What Is the Difference?

20:05  25 september  2019
20:05  25 september  2019 Source:   shape.com

The Best Time to Get Your Flu Shot Is A Lot Sooner Than You May Think

The Best Time to Get Your Flu Shot Is A Lot Sooner Than You May Think Doctor’s orders!

It's flu season and you've been hit. Under a haze of congestion, you're praying to the respiration gods that it's a cold and not the flu. No need to blindly ride out the illness, waiting to see if it becomes serious, though. Here's everything you need to know about the common cold vs. the flu. (Related: Flu Symptoms Everyone Should Be Aware of as Flu Season Approaches)

a woman sitting on a bed: It can be hard to tell whether you've come down with the flu or just have a nasty cold. Here's a guide to common cold vs. flu symptoms.© Justin Paget/Getty Images It can be hard to tell whether you've come down with the flu or just have a nasty cold. Here's a guide to common cold vs. flu symptoms.

If you have a hard time differentiating between a cold vs. the flu, that's probably because their symptoms can overlap. "Influenza appears on the 'differential diagnosis' of many conditions affecting patients during the winter months, including the common cold and upper and lower respiratory infections," says Norman Moore, Ph.D., director of infectious diseases scientific affairs for Abbott. In other words, they share similar signs and symptoms.

How Effective Is the Flu Shot This Year?

  How Effective Is the Flu Shot This Year? Experts reveal everything you need to know about the 2019-2020 flu shot. First of all, if you're concerned that getting the flu shot will give you the flu, that's a total misconception. Flu shot side effects typically include soreness, tenderness, and swelling at the injection site. At worst, you might have some flu-like symptoms immediately after getting the shot, such as low-grade fever, muscle aches, tiredness, and headaches, Gustavo Ferrer, M.D., founder of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Cough Clinic, told us. (FluMist, the flu vaccine nasal spray, can have similar side effects.

With that said, if you've been plowing through a box of tissues, that might be one sign you have a cold rather than the flu. Chills, on the other hand, can be a giveaway that it's the flu. "Sneezing, a stuffy nose, and sore throat are generally seen more often with a cold, whereas chills, fever, and fatigue are more common in people with the flu," says Moore. (Related: When Is Flu Season?)

The difference between cold vs. flu symptoms isn't an obvious one, echoes Gustavo Ferrer, M.D., founder of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Cough Clinic. But the duration of your sickness can be another distinguishing factor. "The common cold is produced by a virus just as influenza," says Dr. Ferrer. "Usually, cold symptoms are milder in comparison to the flu and the flu tends to last longer." Colds don't typically last longer than 10 days. The flu can be about the same length, but in some people, the effects of the flu can last weeks, according to the CDC.

Here's Exactly What to Do If You Get the Flu

  Here's Exactly What to Do If You Get the Flu Prevention is your best bet.

Rather than waiting out the 10 days, Dr. Moore recommends seeking diagnosis at the start of your sickness so that you can start on treatment early if you have the flu. You can head to a doctor's office or clinic for a diagnosis, and sometimes doctors will suggest taking a flu test for added certainty.

From there, you can get treated accordingly. There's no cure for a cold, but OTC fixes can remedy symptoms. When it comes to the flu, in more serious or high-risk cases, doctors often prescribe antiviral drugs. (Related: Can You Get the Flu Twice In One Season?)

In a nutshell, the flu shares symptoms with the common cold but is more likely to come with severe symptoms, last longer, or lead to serious complications. But no matter which infectious disease you've ended up with, one thing's for sure: It's not going to be fun.

Gallery: 15 Simple Ways to Fend Off Colds and Flu (Provided by Cheapism)

a man wearing a suit and tie: No one is immune to being laid low during cold and flu season. Dry winter weather and enclosed spaces create breeding grounds for germs, and coming down with something may require a pricey trip to the doctor or a small fortune for medications. Rather than give in to what seems inevitable, boost your immunity and stay healthy by following these painless and inexpensive tips.   For more great health and wellness tips, sign up for our free newsletters.

Antibiotic resistance: a natural compound in green tea would help fight it .
© Medisite Antibiotic resistance: a natural compound in green tea would help fight it Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a real threat to global health. In the next 30 years, the number of people who die from it could rise to 10 million. Researchers have just discovered a promising new avenue to combat them. By combining a polyphenol found in green tea with an antibiotic, they have overcome one of these superbugs.

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