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Cold vs. Flu


Flu

With cold and flu season upon us, sniffles, coughs, and general misery threaten to take over.

Is it a common cold, or is it something more serious like the flu?


Understanding the differences between these ailments can help you choose the most appropriate care and reduce your chances of complications.


While both share many symptoms, there are key distinctions:

Symptom

Common Cold

Flu

Onset

Gradual

Sudden

Fever

Rare in adults, sometimes in children

Common and usually high (100°F-102°F)

Headache

Mild

Often severe

Body Aches

Mild

Frequent and can be severe

Fatigue/Weakness

Mild

Can be severe

Chest Discomfort/Cough

Mild to moderate

Can be severe

Stuffy/Runny Nose

Common

Sometimes

Sneezing

Common

Sometimes

Sore Throat

Common

Sometimes


Severity and Complications


  • The Common Cold: Generally mild and resolves in a week or two. Mostly manageable at home.

  • The Flu: Often more severe with symptoms lasting longer and sometimes having a higher risk of complications like:

    • Pneumonia

    • Bronchitis

    • Sinus infections

    • Ear infections


When to seek Advice?


See a doctor if your child:

  • Is not improving.

  • Is unusually irritable, grizzly or sleepy.

  • Is breathing quickly and noisily.

  • Is refusing to eat or drink – look for signs of dehydration: Dry nappies or no tears when crying.

  • Is under 6 months old and has a fever.

  • Complains of sore ears or a sore throat.

  • Coughs a lot. See a doctor if you:

  • Feel like your symptoms are getting worse.

  • Don't seem to be getting better after a few days.


If you are unsure, don’t hesitate to see your doctor.


How to Avoid Getting the FLU?


Having a flu shot each year is the best way to protect against the flu and it’s free for certain groups and those with certain medical conditions. Many workplaces offer the flu shot to employees or you can see your doctor or participating Unichem Pharmacist who can discuss it with you in detail.





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