Is it a Cold or the Flu?

treating a cold

Colds and flu are distinct and separate upper respiratory infections, triggered by different viruses. The flu is more serious, because it can spread to the lungs, and cause severe bronchitis or pneumonia. In the beginning stages, the symptoms of colds and flu can be similar. Nose, eyes and mouth are usually the sites of invasion from cold viruses. The most likely target for the flu virus is the respiratory tract.


A Cold Profile looks like this:

• Slow onset. No prostration.

• Body aches—largely due to the release of interferon (an immune stimulator).

• Rarely accompanied by fever and headache.

• Localized symptoms such as sore throat, sinus congestion, listlessness, runny nose and sneezing.

• Mild to moderate chest discomfort.

• Sore or burning throat common.


A Flu Profile looks like this:

• Swift and severe onset.

• Early and prominent prostration with flushed, hot, moist skin.

• Usually accompanied by high (102° -104°) fever, headache and sore eyes.

• General symptoms like chills, depression and body aches.

• Extreme fatigue, sometimes lasting 2-3 weeks.

• Acute chest discomfort, with severe hacking cough.

• Sore throat occasionally.

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