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Cold or Flu

The common cold is one of the most common viral diseases every individual gets at least once a year. Though it lasts for a couple of days to a week, it is enough to hinder daily activities. Flu is rather uncommon but so similar to cold that we often fail to differentiate between the two. We often ignore Cold as it appears frequently but Flu can be deadly and cannot be treated casually. When do we know whether it is either of the two? Read below to find out:

 Common cold or cold

The common cold is a viral infectious disease that attacks the nose primarily and the throat, sinuses, and larynx. The infection happens in the upper respiratory tract. The most common virus responsible for this is rhinovirus, a virus which rapidly multiplies in the nose due to the favorable temperature of 86-95°F.


Symptoms include coughing, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, headache, and fever. The cold begins with tiredness, sneezing or a headache which turns into a runny nose and cough. The virus spreads in the air by airborne droplets or by directly coming in contact with the contaminated objects like soiled handkerchiefs, using the sick person’s personal articles.

There is no vaccine or test for cold. It generally goes away on its own and does not require intake of antibiotics. The most common medicine used for treating cold is Advil which reduces the muscle aches, headache, and fever.


Influenza or flu is a viral infectious disease caused by an influenza virus. It begins mostly with chills and body aches. The common symptoms include high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle pains, headache, coughing, sneezing, and tiredness. An influenza virus can be as severe as the H1N1 virus. The mode of advance is the same as cold.

Influenza vaccines, also known as flu shots or flu jabs, are vaccines that protect against infection by influenza viruses. A new version is created every year.

It is very difficult to distinguish between cold and flu at the initial stage, but flu induces high fever between 100-103°F. If the fever persists it is advised to get a checkup done. There are a number of tests for the flu. One of them is testing the mucus secreted from the upper respiratory tract. Once detected with flu, a patient can be isolated to contain the virus as it spreads rapidly. Flu can cause a pandemic and spread throughout the world.

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