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Difference between Colds and Influenza

Difference between Colds and Influenza

It’s difficult to tell the difference between a cold and influenza because both illnesses share many common symptoms. However, there are some key differences between the two that can help you determine which one you have. In this post, we’ll explain those differences and provide tips on how to treat them. Stay healthy this winter season with our advice!

What is Cold?

A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses, and upper airways. It’s usually caused by rhinoviruses or coronaviruses. Colds are contagious and usually begin 2 or 3 days after you’re exposed to the virus.

  • Cold symptoms generally last for 3 to 10 days. Cold respiratory illness is most commonly seen in young children, but adults can also get it. The symptoms of cold respiratory illness are similar to those of the flu, but they’re usually not as severe.
  • The cold respiratory illness usually starts with a sore throat, runny nose, and sneezing. You may also have a headache, fatigue, and a fever that lasts for a few days. The symptoms of cold respiratory illness can last for up to 2 weeks.
  • While most people recover from cold respiratory illness without any complications, some people may develop pneumonia, which can be a serious lung infection. Treatment for cold respiratory illness is typically focused on relieving symptoms.
  • You can take over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to relieve pain and fever. Drinking plenty of fluids and getting rest will also help you feel better.

Cold respiratory illness is typically mild and resolves on its own within a few days or weeks. However, some people may develop complications, such as pneumonia. If you have any concerns about your symptoms, you should see your doctor.

What is Influenza?

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, coughing, and fatigue. The flu can be serious, especially for young children, the elderly, and people with certain chronic medical conditions. Influenza typically occurs in the winter months, but outbreaks can occur at any time of year. vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu. The influenza vaccine is available as a shot or as a nasal spray. It is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. The influenza vaccine is safe and effective and can help to reduce the severity of symptoms if you do get sick. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting vaccinated today.

Difference between Colds and Influenza

Colds and influenza are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Colds are primarily caused by rhinoviruses, while influenza is caused by influenza viruses. Symptoms of a cold typically include a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and a sore throat, while symptoms of influenza can also include fever, chills, fatigue, and muscle aches.

Colds tend to be less severe than influenza and usually last for seven to ten days. Influenza, on the other hand, can lead to serious health complications like pneumonia and bronchitis, and can sometimes be fatal. Treatment for a cold typically includes rest and over-the-counter medication, while treatment for influenza may require antibiotics or antiviral drugs. Therefore, it is important to be able to distinguish between the two in order to get the appropriate treatment.


Although both colds and the flu are respiratory illnesses, they are caused by different viruses. Colds are typically caused by the rhinovirus, while the flu is most commonly caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms of each illness also vary. Some people may mistake a cold for the flu, but there are some telltale signs that can help you distinguish between the two. If you’re not sure whether you have a cold or the flu, it’s always best to consult with your doctor.

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