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Colds and Flu

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Contrary to popular belief, a cold and the flu is not the same. So just how do you differentiate between the two?

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Colds and Flu

  1. 1. Colds and Flu BY ALI GHAHARY
  2. 2. As many as one quarter of Canadians suffer from the common cold or flu each year, according to Health Canada.
  3. 3. Colds and flu can wreak havoc on your body and affect the immune system, making sleep, work, and focusing on everyday tasks and activities difficult.
  4. 4. Contrary to popular belief, a cold and the flu is not the same. So just how do you differentiate between the two?
  5. 5. The flu is caused by the influenza virus, whereas colds can be triggered by over 200 different viruses such as the adenovirus and coronavirus.
  6. 6. Despite their similarities, they have different causes and require different forms of treatment, thus it is important to consult a physician.
  7. 7. In general, the flu is usually worse than a common cold and can result in serious health complications.
  8. 8. Its symptoms are more severe and last longer than those of a cold.
  9. 9. If you have the flu, you may experience nausea, a dry cough, nasal congestion, muscle weakness, fatigue, shaking and chills, sore throat, body aches, and a moderate-to-high fever.
  10. 10. Flu symptoms can appear suddenly and can last from seven days to as long as two weeks.
  11. 11. In severe cases, symptoms may last up to three weeks. Cold symptoms develop over one or two days and last three to ten days.
  12. 12. At Brentwood Medical Clinic in Burnaby, British Columbia, a patient presenting with cold and flu related symptoms is something Dr. Ali Ghahary sees quite commonly.
  13. 13. Flu and colds are typically treated with antiviral drugs, cough relief medication, and, if necessary, antibiotics are prescribed.
  14. 14. It is also essential to get proper rest and eat well.
  15. 15. Without appropriate treatment, colds and flu can lead to pneumonia, middle-ear infections, bronchitis and sinusitis.
  16. 16. The risk is even greater for children, seniors, and people with pre- existing health conditions such as lung and heart disease.

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