Cold And Flu

Cold and flu are viral infections of the upper respiratory tract that cause similar symptoms; however, the latter tends to be more severe. Flu generally manifests itself with fever, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, and cough. These symptoms improve over the course of two to five days. The common complication of severe flu is pneumonia, which particularly affects the elderly, children, and people with heart or lung diseases. On the other hand, cold generally causes a runny or stuffy nose and a fever that is rarely above 101 degrees. During the first three days of developing a cold, it can be transmitted to others, so it is important to quarantine oneself. The symptoms tend to subside within one week.

The symptoms of both cold and flu can be alleviated with over-the-counter medications, such as analgesics for fever and pain relief, decongestants for relieving a stuffy nose, antihistamines to prevent a runny nose, and lozenges for sore throat. Since both cold and flu are viral infections, antibiotics should not be administered.

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