The difference between the common cold and the flu, and understanding the key symptoms

La Paz, April 8, 2024 (ATB Digital). –A stuffy nose, scratchy throat, and headaches may be symptoms of a respiratory infection, but is it a common cold or the flu? Both share symptoms, which is why it’s difficult to pinpoint, however, their intensity can help differentiate them.

Pamela Berríos, director of the La Paz City Health Department, explained that flu symptoms appear suddenly and are more severe than cold symptoms.

People who have the flu often experience high fever, headache, congestion, and runny nose. Sneezing is also recorded occasionally; not like a cold. Coughing, general malaise, severe tiredness and fatigue, and sore throat are all signs of this condition.

He said of flu symptoms: “Sudden onset, fever over 38 degrees Celsius, headache, muscle and joint pain, poor general condition, weakness, cough, runny nose, eye inflammation, sore throat.”

The common cold, on the other hand, mainly presents with a runny nose, sneezing, moderate dry cough, and throat swelling. Fever and headache sometimes occur. Unlike the flu, malaise, tiredness, and fatigue are mild or moderate.

Likewise, the common cold lasts seven to 10 days, while the flu can last several weeks, the official explained. While you can get the common cold any month of the year, it’s more common in the winter. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that this is because most cold-causing viruses thrive in low-humidity conditions.

Given the rise in cases of respiratory illnesses in the country, it is important to take precautions to avoid contagion. Health authorities recommend frequent hand washing, avoiding close contact with people with symptoms, eating a good diet rich in vitamins, avoiding touching the face and keeping rooms well ventilated.

Berrios reflected on the importance of the flu vaccine in reducing the likelihood of infection and reducing complications from the disease.

In response, Health Secretary Maria Rene Castro reported that flu vaccines are expected to arrive between the end of this month and the beginning of next month. Once these resources are in the hands of the state department, distribution and subsequent awareness campaigns will be carried out across the country.

There are four types of influenza viruses. Influenza A and its variants (H3N2) are the most common, followed by influenza B. Both are highly contagious and have similar symptoms, according to the CDC.

Source: Larazon

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