This time of year many will get one or the other, or both. However, there is a difference that is quite striking. Both can share a number of the same symptoms, including a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and cough. Because both the common cold and flu are caused by viruses, neither respond to antibiotics, which only work on bacterial infections. Antiviral medications can be prescribed by a physician to treat the flu and should be administered within 48 hours of when people begin to feel ill.
Colds tend to be relatively mild and typically last only a few days.
Colds also have a more gradual onset with mild aches, and pains.
Common colds are caused by many different viruses and high fever is
rare. Colds are much more common than cases of flu.
The flu, short for influenza, usually comes on suddenly and is
accompanied by fever, severe aches, chills, and fatigue. Effects of
the flu can last for weeks.
Treatment for both includes plenty of rest, drinking fluids, taking
antihistamines, pain relievers, and decongestants. Don't forget
to keep a good supply of chicken soup, just in case.