All About Viruses and Bacteria

Cold vs. Flu

Cold and Flu Viruses
   The common cold and the flu virus are both sicknesses caused by viruses, but what is the difference between the two? Let’s look at the differences between them. The first difference is the fact that the cold virus is milder than the flu. A cold leaves you drained, but the flu leaves you exhausted. A cold also lasts only a few days, but the flu can last a week. As shown in the picture, the cold and flu look different to. The symptoms of a cold and the flu are similar in some ways and also different in others. The flu will first begin fast, only a day after you are exposed you become sick. A cold can take longer to set in. It could take up to 5 to 7 days for cold symptoms to start to appear. Both viruses share the symptoms of cough, sore throat, headache, fever, and body aches. You are more likely to get a fever with the flu than with a cold though, and a fever with the flu is usually higher than with a cold. When you catch a cold you feel drained for a few days afterward, but with the flu you can feel drained for up to 3 weeks afterwards. Because headaches are a symptom of both sicknesses, it is not and indictor for what sickness you have, but like a fever a headache will be milder with the cold than with the flu. Both the cold and the flu can cause earaches and they will usually go away on its own. With a flu case the symptoms usually all come at once. With a cold it starts with a sore throat or a stuffy nose and then more symptoms come later. The quickest way to see if you have the flu or just a cold is to get a test done. Just a simple nose swab could take as little as 15 minutes to do and could tell you what you have. There is not a vaccine for the cold, but there is one for the flu. Remember to talk to your doctor to find out if you have the cold or the flu and get the proper treatment right away.