Welcome to Prime Plus Medical

Opening : 24/7
  Contact : +6281237387131

Understand the Difference Between Cold and Flu

As the seasons change, so does the prevalence of contagious respiratory illnesses. As in many places worldwide, in Bali too, the common cold and flu are more prevalent during the rainy season.

The common cold and flu are, in fact, two of the most frequently encountered viral infections. People often confuse the two due to their overlapping symptoms. However, they are definitely not the same. Knowing the differences between the common cold and flu is crucial for appropriate management and treatment.

Here are the basic things you need to know for the next time you are not sure whether you are struggling with the cold or flu.

Difference Between the Common Cold and Flu

  1. Causes and transmission of the common cold and flu

There are around 100 different viruses that can cause the common cold. However, the most frequent cause is the rhinovirus. As everyone knows, the common cold is infamous for being highly contagious. It spreads rapidly through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also spread by touching contaminated surfaces.

On the other hand, two viruses are mainly responsible for the flu: the influenza viruses A and B. They are known to be the cause of large seasonal outbreaks. A less common culprit is the influenza virus type C. Like the common cold, the flu is also highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces.

  1. Symptoms of the common cold and flu

The common cold symptoms typically include a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, sneezing, and mild cough. While fever is uncommon in adults, it may occur in children.

Symptoms of the flu are often more severe and abrupt, including high fever, muscle aches, fatigue, headache, dry cough, sore throat, and sometimes gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

Knowing the difference in the symptoms helps you to identify whether you have the common cold or flu. It should make it easier to manage and alleviate the symptoms.

Read the article Effective Ways to Speed Up Recovery from the Common Cold

  1. Duration and severity of the common cold and flu

The common cold symptoms usually peak within 2-3 days and gradually improve over a week. The symptoms tend to be milder compared to the flu.

Symptoms of the flu can last for one to two weeks. In some cases, they may lead to complications such as pneumonia, especially in high-risk groups like the elderly, young children, pregnant women, and individuals with underlying health conditions.

  1. Treatment and management of the common cold and flu

When you suffer from symptoms of the common cold, you should:

  • get plenty of rest to allow your body to fight off the infection,
  • stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, herbal teas, or broths,
  • take over-the-counter medication to help alleviate symptoms such as nasal congestion, sore throat, headaches, and fever, including decongestants, pain relievers, throat lozenges, and cough syrup if you also have a cough,
  • use humidifiers to ease nasal congestion and soothe throat irritation, and
  • avoid spreading the virus by practicing good hygiene, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with others while you experience symptoms.

And when you suffer from symptoms of the flu, you should:

  • take prescription antiviral medications, such as oseltamivir or zanamivir. These medications can reduce the severity and duration of the flu,
  • get plenty of rest,
  • stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, herbal teas, or broths,
  • take over-the-counter remedies to help relieve symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, headache, and cough,
  • seek medical care promptly if symptoms become more severe or if you’re in a high-risk group, such as those with chronic medical conditions, and
  • do your best to avoid spreading the virus.

While the common cold and flu share similarities, they are distinct illnesses caused by different viruses. Understanding their differences is vital for appropriate treatment. And if you need to see a doctor, our English-speaking team at Prime Plus Medical in Canggu is ready to assist you 24/7.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

id_IDIndonesian en_USEnglish
× How can I help you?