The answer to that question might be the difference between lying in for another hour or two, and running to the doctor for a prescription!
While both a cold and flu are respiratory illnesses, a cold is a “milder” illness than a flu. With a cold you might feel a bit under the weather for a day or two, while the flu can have you down and out for a couple of days… or even a couple of weeks. If left untreated, a flu can also turn into something more severe such as pneumonia, ultimately leading to a couple of days (or weeks?!) in hospital.
Let’s compare the two to point out the main differences:
Cold symptoms general start with a sore throat, which will disappear again after a day or two. Shortly after that you might battle with a runny nose and a bit of nasal congestion, followed with a bit of coughing into the fourth and fifth days. The runny nose will usually start with a watery secretion, then become thicker and darker.
Flu symptoms are a bit more severe and tend to surprise you more quickly. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to fevers, headaches, muscle pains, congestions and a sore throat.
Cold symptoms generally last around a week – it is important to remember that you are contagious in the first three days. So rather phone your boss, and take 3 days sick leave.
Flu symptoms can get better in a couple of days, but you might also feel under the weather for longer than a week. It is also possible for flu to turn into pneumonia, so the moment that you feel short of breath, rather pay your doctor a visit.
The typical flu season runs from fall to spring, so generally during these times your first thought might be that it’s the flu, which may or may not be accurate.
Remember that it is important to boost your body with a multi vitamin and mineral supplement such as Immunadue, to help fight cold and flu attacks.