Cold Vs Flu: How To Tell The Difference
As if getting sick wasn't a pain in the butt enough, figuring out exactly what you have doesn't help.
Runny nose, sore throat, friggin' TIRED...is it a cold, or is it the flu? And you starve a cold, feed the flu...right?
Well...that last line is absolutely WRONG. You don't starve a cold OR the flu. Your body needs nutrients to fuel your it's recovery, so NEVER try to starve away illness (you might not be that hungry, but you need to try eating something). So what's the difference?
(Fairly) Definite Differences Between a Cold and The Flu:
- Colds typically last three to five days. The Flu usually lasts at least twice as long.
- Colds typically don't cause fevers. The Flu almost always does.
- Colds are typically accompanied by coughs with mucous (a cough with a prize, if you will). The Flu typically inflicts a dry cough (no prize for you!).
- Colds are rarely deadly. The Flu is NOT as rarely deadly (it kills 35,000 Americans per year)
In order to properly and effectively treat the flu, you need to take antiviral drugs (like Tamiflu) within 36 hours of the first symptoms. If you don't, antiviral drugs are basically useless. You're advised to STAY HOME to avoid infecting others (especially those with weakened immune systems) unless symptoms persist for more than a week, get persistently worse after a few days, or if your fever reaches 103°F.
Otherwise take remedies to give you short-term relief, get lots of rest, and drink lots of fluids (this is a rare instance where whiskey doesn't count as fluids...although it might make you feel a bit better in the short-term...).
And if you're eligible to, get the flu shot, especially if you're willing to take medical advice from a radio personality.