I’m writing this post as I endure my third head cold in two months. As an educator I am constantly swimming amidst a sea of K-2 germs all the while contending with an immune deficiency. Basically, I am a walking
time cold bomb no matter how much I try to prevent it and this year has seen me deal with one upper respiratory ordeal after the next.
Still, I know I’m not the only one trying to guess if the latest sniffle is a product of my year round allergy affliction, an impending cold, or worse; a case of influenza. Even for those of you that aren’t as illness prone as myself, it can sometimes be hard to decipher if it’s just a benign sniffle or if a trip to the Otolaryngologist is warranted.
Is It A Cold Or The Flu?
A cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu. While cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, flu symptoms can make you feel quite ill for a few days to weeks.
A cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu
Most Common Cold Symptoms?
Most often, cold symptoms begin with a sore throat and dissipates within a day or two. Then comes the the runny nose, congestion, and coughing, by the fourth and fifth days. A slight fever is possible but not common in most adults (unless you are me). Children are more likely to have a fever with a cold. Most important however is that a cold is not curable. Several hundred different viruses may cause your cold symptoms. And other than rest, natural remedies, and over the counter treatments you have to just ride your cold out into the sunset.
So in essence, all those times you thought you were eating yams, you were likely eating a sweet potato, and you’ve probably haven’t ever actually had a true yam . In 98% of grocery stores in the U.S yams and sweet potatoes are used interchangeably.
It Might Be the Flu If…
Flu symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms and come on quickly. Symptoms of flu include sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough. Swine flu in particular is also associated with vomiting and diarrhea.With flu symptoms, you will probably have a fever initially with the flu virus and you will feel miserable. Body and muscle aches are also more common with the flu.
Symptoms like dizziness, shortness of breath, persistent coughing, headaches, or fever lasting more than three days are cause for alarm and if present a doctor’s attention is needed
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Source (Web MD)
Photo credit: Milwaukee Community Journal (photo 2)