How to distinguish a cold from a flu

At last the change of season has come, after a summer that has lasted longer than usual: temperatures drop, rainfall increases and the days get shorter. Along with all this, come colds, colds and flu season.

Colds and colds are not the same, although sometimes your symptoms get confused. Both are diseases caused by a virus , easily contagious and with symptoms that refer mainly to the respiratory system . However, differentiating them is important because while a cold is not usually serious, a flu can lead to serious complications depending on the person who suffers, and therefore we must be attentive to its evolution.

How is a cold and flu different?

To begin with, flu and cold are distinguished by the speed at which their symptoms appear : while in the first they are usually sudden, and we happen to find ourselves perfectly to be dust in just a few hours, the colds are more progressive, and we can take a couple of days in developing all the symptoms.

Flu generally makes us find worse overall : it is common to have a fever for several days (something rare in the cold), suffering pains joints, muscles, headaches, chills and found to have weak overall.

In return, colds tend to be more aggressive with our nose and throat: sneezing, nasal congestion and sore throat are more common.

How are they similar?

Colds and flu have one very important thing in common: as we have already said, both are caused by a virus. This means that none of them is treated with antibiotics . The only cure for both of them is to let a few days pass, finish the viral process and cope with the symptoms with antipyretic, analgesic and decongestant medications.

It is important to emphasize that there are no antibiotics to cure a cold or the flu. The misuse of antibiotics results in the resistance of different bacteria to these drugs , which becomes a serious problem when we suffer a real bacterial infection, since there is no way to find the cure.

The development of antibiotic resistant bacteria is a serious global public health problem . Scientists around the world are working to develop new antibiotics that are more effective, something that requires time, talent and funding. Until then, it is important that we properly use the ones we have.

The flu vaccination campaign begins

Antibiotics have nothing to do against the flu, but the seasonal flu vaccine is a good ally to avoid spending a few days in bed each fall.

It is not a vaccine integrated into the official calendar, but it is recommended to all those people who have a higher risk of contracting it (health professionals, workers in senior centers …) as well as risk groups that can develop greater complications: over 65 years old, young children, pregnant women and all those people who suffer from chronic diseases that can be complicated by the flu, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease among others.

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