The flu and the common cold result from different types of viruses. Although both are respiratory illnesses and can have quite similar symptoms, they are very distinct conditions. The flu happens when a flu virus causes an infection in the respiratory system. This includes the nose, the throat, the bronchial tubes, and sometimes the lungs. A common cold impacts just the respiratory tract (the nose and throat.)
Flu symptoms include muscle pain, cough, chills, exhaustion, runny nose, sneezing, congestion, dehydration, fever, nausea, sore throat, breathing problems, warm skin, lack of appetite, body aches, and excessive sweating. Other symptoms, for example, swollen lymph nodes, may also be present. The flu generally impacts the entire body, leaving a person feeling truly miserable.
Yes, the flu can potentially be very serious. The flu virus can cause infections like pneumonia, which can be severe or even deadly if not treated. The flu can be particularly serious for people with weakened immune systems, for elderly people, for young children, and for women who are pregnant.
This is a common misconception. A flu vaccination does not have any live viruses within it, thus it can't result in the flu. However, a flu vaccination could cause an immune response that gives a patient mild symptoms like a low-grade fever or slight muscle aches.
A yearly flu vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu. While a flu vaccination can't guarantee 100 percent protection, they are the very best defense currently available. Flu vaccinations are important for people of any age, but are especially important for the elderly and for the very young, as they are the most vulnerable.