Common Cold or the Flu: Red Flags You Must Look Out For

The flu and common cold have several symptoms that might make it a little too difficult to identify which it is exactly you are suffering from. Oft-times, people are only able to identify what they have when it is way too late.

Coughing, congestion, and sneezing are symptoms that are common in either illness. However, if these symptoms are accompanied by body aches and fever, these are signs that what you are having is not just an ordinary cold, but flu. In addition, a common cold can only cause just a few days of discomfort. However, flu can have its own complications that can get potentially fatal when not attended to right away.

This is the reason why breaking down the symptoms of these conditions is important so as to know when the proper time to seek medical help is.

According to professionals in the medical field, body aches, chills, and fevers are considered red flags that what you have is no longer just the common cold but the flu. However, you should also be aware that both conditions share such symptoms as congestion, sneezing, cough, as well as a sore throat. When both conditions are still in their earliest stages, telling them apart can be such a challenge. But symptoms that are unique to the flu are chills, high-grade fever, body aches, and nausea. Meanwhile, symptoms of the common cold generally just stay in the areas around the nose, ears, throat, and the chest.

 Fever is often considered the most telling symptom that you are having the flu. If the symptoms are coming at such a quick onset, then it is a sign that it is no longer common cold that you have but something more serious. Most of the time, people experience symptoms that are cold-like in appearance for a few days. They then reach the peak of their illness afterward. One needs to remember that the flue comes on fast and hard. There are even instances when the effects are instantaneous. For instance, you may be feeling alright one minute and the next you are breaking cold sweats and experiencing a headache.

It is highly advised that you see your doctor immediately if you have been having cold-like symptoms and then you start to experience shortness of breath, dizziness, and chest pains. These are signs that what you are experiencing may have developed into an infection or pneumonia. Mothers need to bring babies with high fever to a physician within 24 hours.

In addition, people with pre-existing conditions and the elderly should seek immediate medical care since they can be quite prone to infection. Smokers who are experiencing the flu should be more alert since they are susceptible to pneumonia. It is important that they will seek medical help the moment that they start experiencing the symptoms. The key is not to wait for too long before seeing a doctor.

Learn more about how to better deal with the flu and common cold by reading about Dr Toby Ikwueke online.

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