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In the News

HOW IS THE FLU DIFFERENT FROM A COLD?

jody vitelli

The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar flu-like symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone.

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.

Here’s a breakdown of these two common illnesses:

COLD:

  • There are more than 100 different viruses that can cause a cold
  • A cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu
  • Cold symptoms can make you feel sick for a few days to a week
  • During the first 3 days you are contagious with a cold
  • Cold symptoms...
    • Usually begin with a sore throat (1-2days normally)
    • Runny nose, congestion
    • Cough
    • Sneezing
    • Fever is less common but possible (more likely in children)
  • Colds are often mistaken for allergic symptoms, hay fever and/or sinus infections


FLU/INFLUENZA:

  • There are only virus type A, B and C that can cause the flu
    • Virus type A & B are responsible for large flu epidemics
    • Virus type C is more stable and causes milder flu symptoms
  • Flu symptoms can make you feel sick for a few days to weeks
  • Flu symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms and typically include:
    • Sore throat
    • Fever
    • Head and body aches or muscle soreness
    • Congestion
    • Cough (sometimes sneezing)
    • Extreme exhaustion
  • Flus can result in serious health problems like pneumonia and hospitalization and can be life-threatening
  • There is a flu vaccine available

Tutem masks help prevent the spread of cold AND flu germs. Put one on and keep it to yourself!

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