Flu Season is already here and we all are concerned about the deadly virus that can make you feel miserable and even take your life!
Cold Vs. Flu. Runny, stuffy nose, slight fever, cough, chest pain, and watery eyes. Waking up like that sure sucks! While cold and flu season is creeping its way in, I find it quite tricky to know if one has flu or a cold. Knowing this is important because flu when untreated leads to serious complications. The flu season has just kicked off and 5 flu-related deaths have already been reported in the USA, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
So, yeah, I was scared and I took the flu shots just a few days ago, just to stay on the safe side. But if you or any of your family member is yet to take the annual flu shot and are already facing certain symptoms, it’s better if you identify whether you’re dealing with a mild cold or the deadly flu. It’s almost impossible to note the differences between the cold and the flu but there are few things to consider when diagnosing yourself.
Cold Vs. Flu: What is the difference between a cold and the flu?
Both cold and flu are respiratory diseases with more or less similar symptoms. Hence, it’s quite difficult to differentiate a cold and flu. One major difference is that they are caused by different viruses. A common cold is mainly caused by “corona viruses or rhinoviruses” whereas flu is an infectious disease caused by an “influenza virus”.
Generally, flu is more dangerous and severe than a common cold. Common colds are easily cured but flu can lead to serious health problems such as pneumonia and bacterial infections. Another major difference between influenza and a cold is the severity of the symptoms and the time they take to develop.
Symptoms of Flu Vs. Symptoms of Cold
Stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, sneezing, nasal congestion, body aches, headaches are common signs and symptoms of flu and cold. However, there are some peculiar differences in their symptoms. A cold symptoms usually last for about a week but if the symptom does not seem to be improving after a week, you might have flu or allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or a sinus infection.
You might also want to read: How Long Does Flu Last ? Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Home Remedies
Symptoms of Flu include:
- Abrupt onset of fever, headaches and body aches
- Chest discomfort and cough
- Extreme fatigue and weakness
- Sore Throat
- Fever with chills
- Vomiting and diarrhea are common in children
Symptoms of Cold include:
- Gradual onset of symptoms
- fever is rare or low-grade fever
- Fatigue and weakness
- sneezing, coughing, and stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Feeling malaise (unwell)
When and Where To Get The Flu Shot?
If you’re thinking of skipping out this year’s flu shot, you might want to rethink the decision. Though there have been a lot of controversies regarding whether or not flu shot gives you the flu, the answer is it does not. Instead, the vaccine reduces the risk of infection and according to a 2018 study, flu vaccine among adults reduced the flu-related hospitalizations to the Intensive Care Unit by 82 percent! So it’s the right thing to do.
But the main question is When is the Best Time to Get The Flu Shot?
Experts and doctors are constantly asking the public to take the flu shot right now. CDC recommended that everyone should get vaccinated by the end of the October. But we still have time. According to Dr. Lisa Maragakis, M.D. at Senior Director of Infection Prevention at Johns Hopkins Health System, “It’s better to get the shot before the flu starts circulating widely and gives your body time to react to the vaccine and build up immunity.”
She further stated that the virus changes it’s properties year after year becoming more powerful and resistant. Therefore, she didn’t want anyone to put their health at risks.
Here’s a list of destinations from where you can get your flu shots:
- From Your Primary care doctor
- Local Supermarkets
- Local care facilities
- At your office