Cold or Influenza? Which is it?
This time of year, the phone rings constantly with individuals who have “the flu”. Other than … they do not. Do you understand the distinction in between having a cold and having the flu?
The common cold (and kid is it typical) develops gradually over several days and can start with a scratchy throat, sneezing and sniffles leading to blockages. Any fever present is mild (in adults). Coughing is usually hacking and can be wet due to blockage.
On the other hand, influenza often begins rather unexpectedly with fever (normally greater than 101 degrees F and last 3-4 days), headache and all over body aches (myalgia). Typically one feels tired or fatigued. Coughing is typically dry and hacking and can last after all other flu symptoms have passed.
Influenza or “the influenza” is more of a systemic health problem, indicating it affects your entire body, where as a cold normally simply affects the upper body. You can in some cases get a stuffy nose, sneezing and aching throat with the flu, however it’s far more common with colds. The flu is more severe since it can cause other issues, like pneumonia in susceptible grownups.
Another typical disease that is typically referred to as “the flu” is your common variety gastroenteritis– implying that you stand and intestinal tracts are acting up.
This is NOT influenza.
In general, viral illnesses will run their course and one does not need to be seen in their centers. It’s a various story if you have a depressed immune system, a persistent lung condition (such as emphysema or COPD) or if you have been ill for over 10 days. Of course, at any time you are having challenging breathing, you have to see your health care company as soon as you can.
The very best bet is to keep yourself healthy and prevent colds and the flu in the very first place.