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HomeHealth and WellnessWhat are the symptoms of common illnesses like flu or cold?

What are the symptoms of common illnesses like flu or cold?

The flu (influenza) and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses, and while they share some symptoms, there are distinct differences. Here are the typical symptoms associated with the flu and the common cold:

Common Cold Symptoms:

1. Runny or Stuffy Nose:

   – One of the most common symptoms is nasal congestion or a runny nose.

2. Sneezing:

   – Frequent sneezing is common during a cold.

3. Sore Throat:

   – A scratchy or sore throat may be present.

4. Cough:

   – Coughing is common, and it can vary from mild to severe.

5. Watery Eyes:

   – Eyes may become watery and irritated.

6. Fatigue:

   – Feeling tired or lethargic is typical with a cold.

7. Mild Headache:

   – Headaches are generally mild.

8. Mild Body Aches:

   – Some people may experience mild muscle or body aches.

Flu (Influenza) Symptoms:

1. Fever:

   – A sudden and high fever is a common symptom of the flu.

2. Chills:

   – Chills often accompany the fever.

3. Cough:

   – Similar to the common cold, the flu can cause a cough, which may be more severe.

4. Sore Throat:

   – A sore throat can be a symptom of the flu.

5. Runny or Stuffy Nose:

   – While less common than with a cold, nasal congestion or a runny nose can occur with the flu.

6. Muscle or Body Aches:

   – Muscle and body aches are common and can be more severe than with a cold.

7. Fatigue:

   – Fatigue and weakness are pronounced during the flu.

8. Headache:

   – Headaches are common and can be severe.

9. Shortness of Breath:

   – Some people may experience shortness of breath, especially in more severe cases.

10. Chest Discomfort or Pain:

    – Chest discomfort or pain can occur, particularly in individuals with underlying health conditions.

It’s important to note that the symptoms mentioned above can vary from person to person, and not everyone with the flu or a cold will experience all of these symptoms. Additionally, other respiratory viruses can cause similar symptoms.

If you suspect you have the flu or a cold, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. In the case of the flu, antiviral medications may be prescribed, especially if started early in the course of the illness. For colds, symptom management and rest are typically recommended.