How to tell the flu from a cold

Feb­ru­ary 13, 2017, 17:05

Just yes­ter­day you felt great, and in the morn­ing you sud­den­ly had a headache, an unpleas­ant weak­ness appeared in your whole body, and you were still shiv­er­ing, your nose was blocked, and you start­ed cough­ing … Is it real­ly the flu? Do not rush to self-diag­nose and pan­ic! The cause of these symp­toms can be both a com­mon cold and the flu virus.

Woman in winter - photo


First, let’s under­stand the ter­mi­nol­o­gy. The com­mon cold is pop­u­lar­ly called ARVI — an acute res­pi­ra­to­ry viral dis­ease of the res­pi­ra­to­ry tract. Con­tributes to him a sharp hypother­mia, espe­cial­ly dan­ger­ous if the body is weak­ened or over­worked. There is noth­ing wrong with a cold, except for pos­si­ble com­pli­ca­tions if it is not treat­ed or treat­ed incor­rect­ly. The causative agents of the com­mon cold are path­o­gen­ic virus­es: rhi­novirus, ade­n­ovirus, res­pi­ra­to­ry syn­cy­tial virus, parain­fluen­za virus, coro­n­avirus and oth­ers. They, as a rule, live qui­et­ly in the nose, throat and bronchi of each of us until a cer­tain time. For a healthy per­son, these virus­es do not pose any dan­ger, how­ev­er, as soon as the immune defense weak­ens, they begin to mul­ti­ply, caus­ing a run­ny nose, cough, sore throat and oth­er unpleas­ant symp­toms of the dis­ease.

Influen­za is, in fact, the same SARS, but caused by the influen­za virus. Why is the influen­za virus caus­ing so much fear and pan­ic? The fact is that this type of virus is char­ac­ter­ized by the occur­rence of epi­demics, cov­er­ing a sig­nif­i­cant part of the pop­u­la­tion. Influen­za is more severe, and also pro­vokes the occur­rence of seri­ous com­pli­ca­tions, such as pneu­mo­nia.

Distinctive symptoms of influenza and SARS

Influenza - photo


Heat: a sharp increase in body tem­per­a­ture, as a rule, indi­cates the flu. With a cold, fever rarely occurs, the tem­per­a­ture ris­es grad­u­al­ly and slight­ly. With influen­za, the ther­mome­ter scale can reach 39 ‑40 ° C.

Nasal con­ges­tion. Run­ny nose and sneez­ing are clas­sic symp­toms of SARS. With influen­za, there is usu­al­ly no run­ny nose, nasal con­ges­tion may appear on the sec­ond or third day of ill­ness.

Sore throat. In most cas­es, it accom­pa­nies a cold.

Headache does not nec­es­sar­i­ly mean the flu, as it also occurs dur­ing a cold. How­ev­er, with a cold, it is not as intense as with the flu.

Mus­cle pain and “aches” all over the body are signs of the flu.

Cough - symp­tom of both dis­eases. But a par­tic­u­lar­ly severe, dif­fi­cult cough is most often a symp­tom of the flu.

REMEMBER! When the first symp­toms of malaise appear, you should imme­di­ate­ly con­sult a doc­tor. Only he can make the cor­rect diag­no­sis and choose the right treat­ment.

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The opin­ion of the edi­tors may not coin­cide with the opin­ion of the author of the arti­cle.

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