As the weather gets colder we all tend to spend more time indoors trying to stay warm and avoid catching a cold or flu.
However, it’s important to know that colds and flus are different illnesses caused by different viruses.
“The Common Cold” is caused by about 200 different viruses and there is no vaccine for a cold, or a quick fix cure besides bedrest. Colds are not only seasonal viruses, but can hit you any time of the year!
Colds are very common and for some often unavoidable. Children experience between 5-10 colds a year, while adults experience 2-4 colds each year. Colds are contagious during the first two to three days of infection. A cold generally affects your nose, throat and upper airways with common symptoms including coughing, fever, sore throat, sneezing, blocked or runny nose and overall congestion.
The flu is generally seasonal, peaking during the winter months. The seasonal flu is caused by the influenza A, B, and C viruses. Active strains of influenza virus vary from year to year.
The flu is a viral infection which generally affects your nose, throat and for some people their lungs. Typical symptoms of the flu include fever, sore throat and muscle aches. Symptoms of the flu tend to last longer than that of a cold and can be more severe.
Both infections are highly contagious and can be caught from close contact with someone who has the virus, for example breathing in droplets of air when someone coughs or sneezes.
It's difficult to avoid catching colds and the flu so when you come into contact with someone with an infection avoid sharing things they may have used, and wash your hands regularly. If you do catch a dreaded cold or the flu remember to rest and stay well hydrated.