Learn to Differentiate between Cold and Flu

A running nose and sneezing – These are the most common problems during a season change. But most of us make mistakes when differentiating between a cold and a flu. Though these two are a respiratory illness caused by a virus that blocks airways, you should know the difference between the two to treat it correctly.

Here it is –

The common cold is a disease that affects the upper respiratory tract including nose and throat and this is not serious like the flu. People generally recover within 7 to 10 days. Whereas the flu is caused by the influenza virus and it affects the entire respiratory system including nose, throat and lungs. This virus keeps changing its type, if you have running nose and cough for a long time do not ignore it and immediately visit a doctor. In OKC you can come to a primary care physician to treat it.


The most prominent symptoms of a cold are stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, coughing yellow or green phlegm, sore throat. One can get mild head and body aches as well. Nausea, chill or fevers are rarely found in cold.

The most prominent symptoms of flu are a dry cough, severe head and body ache, fever, chill and sweat. Sneezing, sore throat and nausea are seen sometimes.

Sometimes a cold can last for a long time, for the first three days when you have a cold it is contagious. That means anyone around you is vulnerable and can be affected. During these three days, you should rest for a faster recovery. Sometimes you may mistake cold symptoms with allergic rhinitis or a sinus infection. To avoid such mistakes you should visit a primary care physician in OKC.

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When Should Call a Doctor?

Whatever it is, whether it is a cold or flu, if you have persistent symptoms you should call a doctor. Symptoms including:

Constant FeverIt does not matter what temperature you have, but a fever and rise and fall in temperature will put you in trouble and you should call a doctor.

Painful Swelling although due to cold or flu you may get a mild sore throat and body pain, if it is severe or painful you should call a doctor.

Persistent Coughing When you have a cough for two to three weeks this could be bronchitis. You should visit to your care physician for antibiotics.

Congestion and HeadacheWhen cold and allergies block passages and cause congestion, it can lead to a sinus infection. If you have pain around the eyes and nose and nasal discharge for a week, it could be a bacterial infection and you need antibiotics.

** Disclaimer: The article above implies no medical advice; it constitutes no terms between patient and doctor.