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Common Cold verses the Flu by Megan Karr

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The differences between a cold and the flu are not many and can be complicated to sort out. A cold is less severe than the flu. The flu can lead to other illnesses. While both are respiratory illnesses a cold is much milder than the flu, and usually does not consist of a fever.

A cold typically beg
ins with a sore or scratchy throat that progresses to a runny or stuffy nose, and usually a cough as well. The symptoms do not last long, maybe a day or two. While a slight fever can be present with a cold, one is not usually expected. A cold is only contagious during the first couple of days, and usually lasts for about a week in its entirety. The best cure for a cold is plenty of rest. Sinus infections may occasionally be mistaken as a cold, however, sinus infections last longer than a week and an antibiotic is needed as a cure.

The flu’s symptoms are more severe than a cold. Symptoms of the flu are generally the same as symptoms of a cold; sore throat, stuffy nose, congestion, and a cough, however, the flu also includes headaches, a fever, and achy muscles. The symptoms of the flu usually last for about a week, but due to the severity of the symptoms a person may feel run down or tired for longer than a week. The flu may lead to other illnesses such as pneumonia, or swine flu. Swine flu has the same symptoms of the flu but includes vomiting and diarrhea. Pneumonia can be spotted by fever reappearing after being gone for a couple of days or by shortness of breath. The flu’s symptoms while similar, are much more severe than those of a common cold.

Both the cold and flu are diseases that are spread through the mucous membranes in the nose, eyes, and mouth. Each time you touch your nose, eyes or mouth that area can become infected with a virus, which is why keeping you’re hands clean is so important.
“Flu or Cold? Or Swine Flu? Know the Differences.” WebMD – Better Information. Better Health. WebMD. Web. 03 Dec. 2011. <>.

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