Cold vs. Flu: Can You Spot the Signs?

Achoo! You feel a little tickle in your nose and throat like something is coming on. But you may be wondering, is it a cold or the flu?

It can be tricky to tell these viruses apart because some symptoms are similar. But flu has some unique characteristics and here’s how you can tell the difference.

Fever, body aches, and chills are the three most common and early signs of flu. These hallmark symptoms are not present in head colds, so that may help you distinguish these two respiratory illnesses.

Time can be a determiner. Colds develop slowly over two to three days, whereas flu comes on abruptly and can last up to two weeks. Symptoms of flu feel more intense than a cold, as well. So if you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck, think flu. If you’re just stuffy and sneezy, it’s likely a cold.

After you’ve pinpointed your symptoms, take care to relieve them. Make sure to get plenty of rest and keep hydrated. Homeopathic medicines can offer relief.

For flu-like symptoms, there’s Oscillococcinum. This homeopathic medicine has been used for more than 70 years to reduce the severity and duration of body aches, headache, fever, chills, and fatigue. Time is of the essence when you have flu, so make sure you have this on hand to nip symptoms in the bud at their onset. Oscillococcinum is non-drowsy and can be used for everyone ages 2 and up.

Boiron offers a variety of medicines to address common cold symptoms. ColdCalm quick-dissolving tablets relieve sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and minor sore throat.* This medicine is also available as slightly sweet melt-away pellets that are easier for younger kids to take, as well as single-use liquid doses for little ones 6 months of age and older.

For cold-related coughs, there’s Chestal Honey. This honey-based syrup calms all types of common coughs and loosens chest congestion for everyone ages 2 and up.

For more helpful tips on how to stay well during the winter season, visit the Oscillo Wellness Center.


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