What is the difference between Influenza and Cold? Well explained

Respiratory diseases occur for different reasons, but one of them is due to temperature change. In this sense, it is important to take into account what type of contagion has been acquired in order to apply the respective treatment.

Likewise, flu and influenza are considered diseases that attack the respiratory tract, and although they usually present similar signs and symptoms, both are caused by different viruses, although influenza is usually more aggressive.

What is Influenza?

Influenza is a respiratory illness that is spread by contact with the influenza virus. Inside the body, this virus is capable of causing mild or severe pain, even death.

The influence is not the same as the cold. In general, influenza begins immediately, people with influenza usually have the following symptoms :

  • Cough
  • Fever or feel chills.
  • Throat pain
  • Runny nose or stuffy nose
  • Muscle and body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people have diarrhea and vomiting, although it occurs more in children than in adults.

What is Cold?

The common cold is one of the most “common” diseases worldwide, in the US, for example, there are more than a billion colds per year. Cold is the most common illness in children.

It can occur in any season of the year and in any temperature. It is caused by a virus that spreads through tiny particles and travels through the air after a person sneezes, coughs, or blows their nose.

A person is most contagious during the first 2-3 days of a cold, after the first week the cold is no longer contagious. Most people recover from a cold in a week or 10 days at most. Its main symptoms are:

  • Throat pain
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Body pain or headache
  • sneezing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Low grade fever.

How to differentiate a flu from an influenza?

The flu is caused by certain types of viruses (adenovirus, rhinovirus, among many others), while influenza has its origin in more than 200 types of virus. Although it is often difficult to tell the difference because they are similar in symptoms , the flu usually has milder symptoms.

Differences between influenza and cold

  • Influenza has more painful symptoms than the flu.
  • Colds tend to heal faster than the flu.
  • People who have a cold are more likely to have a stuffy or runny nose.
  • Colds often don’t cause serious health problems like pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations, while the flu starts immediately and can lead to death if left untreated.

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