The influenza virus, which causes the flu, is a common respiratory virus that can occasionally spread to the lungs along with the nose and throat. The flu can lead to mild or even severe illness that can be life-threatening. The best way to prevent the virus is to get an annual flu vaccination. Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms of a cold vs the flu and how to get treatment at our pharmacy in Exeter.
What causes the flu?
Want to stay protected from the flu? Knowing the cause is the best way to start. This ailment is different from a cold. Even though over 100 different viruses can cause a cold, only influenza virus types A, B, and C can cause the flu.
Large seasonal outbreaks are brought on by type A and type B viruses. Typically, type C causes less severe respiratory symptoms. Despite the fact that it can help to protect you from types A and B, there is no vaccination available for type C of the influenza virus.
Many animals, such as ducks, pigs, chickens, whales, horses, and seals, carry the type A flu virus. Type B viruses affect only human beings.
What are the symptoms of a cold vs the flu?
The main symptoms of the flu are as follows:
– Feeling weak and fatigued.
– General aches and pains.
– High fever of 38 °C and above.
– A headache.
– A chesty, dry cough.
The flu can also lead to cold-like symptoms such as sneezing, and a sore throat, among similar symptoms. Though they typically disappear more rapidly than the other symptoms.
When should you visit your pharmacist?
Consider scheduling a consultation with your pharmacist if you:
– Are 65 years old and above.
– Are pregnant.
– Have a long-term illness, such as diabetes, lung disease, renal disease, a heart condition, or a neurological disorder.
– Have a weak immune system due to HIV infection or chemotherapy treatment.
– Still experience symptoms after a week and are worsening or don’t appear to get better.
– Have chest pains, problems breathing, or you begin coughing up blood.
There may be times when you require medication to treat or prevent flu-related complications. Your doctor can prescribe an antiviral medicine to alleviate your symptoms and hasten the healing process.
Is there a difference between the symptoms of a cold vs the flu?
The fundamental distinction between the flu and a cold is that they are both brought on by completely different viral strains. Cold symptoms are often considerably milder than flu symptoms, which manifest quickly. It’s easy to tell if you have the flu. You can expect to experience a fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, chills, and achy muscles and joints when you have the flu. Common cold symptoms include a sore throat and a runny nose. Colds are much more common than the flu.
How can I treat the symptoms of a cold vs the flu in Exeter?
Most people heal faster when recovering from the flu at home. You should expect a full recovery from the infection in a few days. To help with the healing process, get enough sleep and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. The following medications can treat flu symptoms if it’s safe for you to take them:
– Use cough medicine to treat a cough.
– Use paracetamol to reduce fever.
– Ibuprofen to soothe aching muscles.
– A nasal decongestant to ease congested nasal passages.
How can I prevent myself from contracting a cold or the flu?
All people older than six months old are advised to get an annual flu vaccine. Nevertheless, there are a few exceptions. Those who experience severe allergic responses to chicken eggs should consider consulting their pharmacist before going for the vaccine.
Additionally, yearly vaccinations should be avoided for anyone who has previously experienced severe reactions to influenza injections. The vaccination may lead to the onset of Guillain-Barré syndrome, but this is uncommon.
Another important method of flu prevention is making sure you regularly wash your hands. This is due to the possibility of the virus spreading if you touch your mouth or nose after coming into contact with a contaminated surface. Avoid touching your face and routinely wash your hands with soap and water during the day. You can also use an alcohol-based sanitiser in place of soap or water.
Other useful tips include developing healthy habits like getting adequate sleep and exercising regularly, managing your stress, drinking lots of water and eating a balanced diet.
How can you treat symptoms of a cold vs the flu?
Get in touch with Luxtons Pharmacy to book your appointment and get relief for common ailments such as a cold, cough, or sore throat. You will also learn more about the symptoms of a cold vs the flu in Exeter.