A cold and the flu can have some very similar symptoms, so it's natural that they are often mixed up. A cold is far less serious than the flu in most cases, even though flu symptoms may mimic a cold until it's very developed. Flu symptoms are usually more intense. People suffering from colds usually have either a runny or a stopped-up nose, which is not quite as common with the flu. Only a doctor can determine whether it is a cold or the flu, so getting tested promptly when symptoms appear is important.
The main cold symptoms include a runny nose, a stopped-up nose, sore throat, a mild cough, and sometimes a mild fever.
No, at this time the common cold can't be vaccinated against. Around 250 unique viruses can cause the common cold today. A single vaccination simply can't prevent all of those viruses.
A common cold usually lasts for a few days, but it can last for as much as a week. If a common cold lasts more than a week, there may be another reason for the illness. When a cold lingers for a week or more, it is important that a patient sees the doctor promptly. The illness may be something else entirely, and the other cause of illness may be immediately treatable.
Although there is no cure for the common cold, there are several things that people can do to feel better and possibly to lessen the duration of their colds. Patients should drink plenty of water and should avoid caffeine as it can cause dehydration. Bland foods like rice or chicken noodle soup can help a patient stay full if they just can't face their regular diet while ill. Some over the counter or prescription medications like antihistamines may be recommended by the doctor if needed.