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Flu Or Cold? Here Is How You Can Tell The Difference

by Medicaid Pharmacy

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Colds and flus are caused by different viruses and, in general, the symptoms of a flu are far worse. When it comes to colds, one has less chances of encountering serious health complications such as bacterial infections or pneumonia.

The main difference between these two is that flus are generally accompanied by a fever of around 38.5 degrees celsius or higher. The fever can last anywhere between three to five days. Another symptom of the flu is extreme fatigue and lethargy which persists for several weeks. Colds on the other hand, are much milder and their symptoms last for around one week. A common symptom of the cold is nasal congestion or having to deal with a runny nose. 

Another key difference between the two is vomiting, a symptom mostly associated with the flu. 

But what is a cold, exactly?

Colds are something which many people get affected with throughout their lives in both hot and warm climates. The symptoms of a cold range from coughs, sneezes, watery eyes, headaches and body aches. There is not much you can do to cure a cold, except for resting and drinking plenty of fluids. Electrolyte-infused water, fresh fruit and broths can help in alleviating the symptoms along with over the counter medicine. 

In order for you to avoid catching a cold, you could wash your hands regularly and make sure to not spread any germs through sneezing without covering your mouth or nose. 


What about the flu? 

Flus plague the diseased with fever and high temperatures. Here's a list of flu symptoms which one may or may not experience: 

  • Blocked or runny nose
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Sore throat 

Flus can be treated in numerous ways. From over the counter medications to prescription drugs or home remedies. When it comes to prescription drugs, it is best if they are given to you by a doctor, especially if you are pregnant, an infant or someone who is over the age of 65.


When things get serious 

You really need to seek medical help if you notice any of the following symptoms in children, especially infants: 

  • Breathing problems
  • No appetite
  • Crying
  • Irritability 
  • Lack of interaction
  • Bluish skin colour
  • Rashy fevers

How can you protect yourself from the flu? 

The best way to keep the flu at bay is by taking the annual anti-flu vaccine. This will boost your immune system and help you fight off any viruses quickly and efficiently. Since the flu can cause serious complications for unborn children, it is advised that pregnant women take the vaccine. 


Home remedies

A number of home remedies can be taken in conjunction with rest and plenty of fluids. These include

  • Saline drops
  • Salt water gargling
  • Licorice or eucalyptus lozenges
  • Vapor rubs
  • Eucalyptus essential oil infused baths
  • Paracetamol or similar medication
  • Eating hearty meals
  • Drinking plenty of fluids 

For more information on how to fight off the flu, you can contact us at Medicaid Pharmacy. Read more about us on Yellow.