Your nose is runny and stuffed, your head is pounding, and your throat is scratchy. Is it the seasonal flu or common cold? At times, the symptoms of the two might overlap. So, a doctor might recommend doing a quick check with a cotton swab from your throat or nose’s interiors. Here, we will discuss some of the causes and signs of cold and flu.
Causes of cold and flu
There are several types of viruses that might lead to a cold. However, the primary virus that results in the common cold is the rhinovirus.
In both cold and flu, the virus enters the body via the nose, eyes, or mouth and can spread via the air droplets when someone with the cold talks, coughs, or sneezes. The virus might also enter the body via a handshake or if you share contaminated objects, such as telephones, toys, towels, or utensils. When you touch your nose, eyes, or mouth after exposure to the virus, you will catch a common cold.
Adults and children who have a weak immune system are more likely to develop flu. Furthermore, if you have had flu in the past, you are more likely to develop the same again. There is no vaccination for cold, but for the flu, you can get vaccinated and keep yourself protected.
Signs of cold and flu
In the common cold, the symptoms start approximately one to three days following the exposure to the virus. On the other hand, the symptoms of the flu begin suddenly.
Fever: In the common cold, the fever may or may not be present. However, in the flu, you will always have a fever. In the former, the fever will be below 100 degrees. On the other hand, in the flu, the fever will be over 100 degrees. It will last for approximately three to four days.
Cough: In the common cold, you have a hacking cough, and in the flu, there is dry and, at times, severe cough.
Headache: In the flu, the headache is prominent, while it is rare in the common cold.
Muscular pain: In influenza, muscular pain is usual and might even get severe at times. On the other hand, in the common cold, it is either mild or absent.
Tiredness and weakness: You will experience short-term tiredness or weakness in the common cold, whereas it may last for about two to three weeks in the flu.
Chest discomfort: In the common cold, chest discomfort is mild or rare. However, it is usual in the flu.
Stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat: These symptoms are common in the cold and may or may not appear in the flu. In the common cold, the discharge is yellow or green in color and thicker in texture.
Congestion: Congestion is common in both common cold and flu.