Do you know if you have a cold or if it’s a flu? We point out the differences between the two.
There is a sudden change in temperature one day and your nose begins to tickle. Few minutes later, you develop the beginnings of a runny nose. Soon, your nose is red, your eyes are watery and you just can’t stop sneezing. This how a common cold starts.
But wait – you could also have the flu. The common cold and flu are often mistaken for each other, because they have almost the same symptoms. However, if you have influenza, not only will you have the symptoms of a common cold, you will also experience a rise in body temperature almost immediately after developing the first symptoms.
The difference between flu and cold. The start of influenza is characterised by a constantly runny nose. This could fool you into thinking that you picked up a cold from somebody. But in a day, the cold sets in and instead of a runny nose, you now have a clogged one. Meanwhile, you develop a fever (this can rise to as high as 104 Degrees), a painful sore throat, congestion and a body ache. Some people also experience severe headaches as their fever rises.
Influenza can sap you of your energy and may need a longer healing time than the common cold. It is likely to strike you during flu season in winter and it necessitates bed rest till one feels strong enough to get up again. Amongst people with a low immunity, influenza can assume a very severe form and weaken the person further. Many people struck by flu report breathing distress as their nasal passages are blocked by thickened mucus which is difficult to expel from the nose – they may require a doctor’s intervention, as this condition is dangerous especially for those with asthma or cardiac problems.
How to keep yourself safe from flu. Influenza is a short-lived but painful ailment to live with. It is most often seen to strike people with a weakened immunity. However, a primary reason for the influenza virus to strike people is the lack of personal hygiene. Not washing the hands regularly with Dettol antibacterial hand washing soap and water, especially during flu season and upon contact with surfaces contaminated with the flu virus, creates a gateway for the virus to thrive and possibly enter the system.
If you are outdoors, it is worth your while to keep the Dettol hand sanitiser and a packet of hand wipes in your bag. Use them frequently to combat the risk of contracting the flu from person infected with it already and who may not even be aware of the same. Besides, you never know if other people practice good hygiene or not, so it is always wiser to take extra precautions when one is outside the house. Some areas of common public use – elevator buttons, staircase bannisters, door handles, table tops, computer keyboards, communal pantry, etc. may carry the flu virus which is passed along from hand to hand between different people.
Inside the house too, you must wash your hands with antibacterial soap at least thrice a day, and wipe down all kitchen and bathroom surfaces with antibacterial spray – the flu virus thrives in these damp atmosphere.