Is it a cold or is it the flu?

Ill woman in bedBoth a cold and the flu can leave you feeling miserable. Since both are respiratory illnesses they share some overlapping symptoms. But because different viruses cause them, there are signs that are specific to one ailment and not the other. As the flu and typical cold seasons approach, it’s important to know the differences.  

Common cold symptoms include:  

  • A sore throat within the first few days  
  • Runny nose and congestion  
  • A cough, usually by the fourth or fifth day  
  • Possibly a slight fever (more common in children)  

Cold symptoms usually last for a week and are contagious for the first three days.  

Flu symptoms include:  

  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion  
  • Cough  
  • Fever  
  • Headaches and muscle aches 
  • Fatigue  

Flu symptoms come on quickly and can last up to 10 days. Pneumonia is a common complication of the flu, especially in children, the elderly or people with lung or heart problems. If you experience shortness of breath or have a fever return after having been gone for a day or two, see a doctor.   

The cold and flu viruses are both spread through contact with respiratory droplets. Effective hand washing is a great preventative measure against both the flu and colds. Additionally, receiving the flu vaccine is the best way to keep you from getting the flu.  

Contact Carolina Specialty Care today to schedule your flu vaccine appointment.