Wednesday, January 02, 2008


It winter and the cold and flu season are here. I was surprised at how many people didn't know the difference between the cold and the flu. Here's a list of the differences in the two.

FEVER: (COLD)-A fever is very rare with a cold. (FLU)-Fever is usually present with the flu. 80% of the flu cases include a fever. A temp of 100 degrees or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.

ACHES: (COLD)- Sight body aches or pains can be part of a cold. (FLU)- Severe aches and pains are common with a cold.

CHILLS: (COLD)- Chills are uncommon with a cold. (FLU)- Chills are fairly common in most flu cases. 60% of flu cases include chills.

TIREDNESS: (COLD)- Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. (FLU)- Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.

SUDDEN SYMPTOMS: (COLD)- Cold symptoms are not sudden and develop over a few days. (FLU)- The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

COUGH: (COLD)- A hacking, productive (mucus producing) cough is often present with a cold. (FLU)- A nonproductive cough that does not produce a mucus is usually present with the flu. Dry cough is present in 80% of flu cases.

SNEEZING: (COLD)- Sneezing is commonly present with a cold. (FLU)- Sneezing is not commonly present with the flu.

STUFFY NOSE: (COLD)- A stuffy nose usually accompanies a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. (FLU)- Stuffy noses are not common with the flu.

SORE THROAT: (COLD)- Sore throat is common with a cold. (FLU)- Sore throat is not common with the flu.

CHEST DISCOMFORT: (COLD)- Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold. (FLU)- Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

HEADACHE: (COLD)- A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. (FLU)- A headache is very common with the flu.

Flue Facts:
  • The flu is a contagious virus that is spread from one person to another through tiny droplets that are released into the air when a person infected with the flu coughs or sneezes. Sometimes, people can become infected by touching their nose or mouth after touching something infected by the flu virus.

  • Most healthy adults can infect others one day before they begin experiencing symptoms and up to five days after they become sick. That means you can pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

  • A typical case of the flu can last up to one week.

  • The flu can be a serious illness, particularly for mature populations aged 50 and older, and those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma.

  • Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. Track the flu in your area.

As for the "starve a cold, feed a fever..or is it feed a cold..??" there is no evidence that not eating with shorten a cold. A cold is a virus and the only thing that will get rid of that virus is time. Bottom line is you have to wait it out. Drinking lots of warm fluids like tea and soup will help with the congestion and some research suggest high amounts of vitamin C may help also.

But be it a cold or the flu, rest and plenty of fluids are very important.

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