How is seasonal flu different from the common cold?

Flu is an acute disease of the respiratory system caused by influenza viruses and is very easily transmitted from one person to another and can affect people of all ages. This happens every year starting in the fall, with the peak period for the flu in the northern hemisphere extending from November to March.

Seasonal flu: Symptoms

Symptoms usually appear suddenly and include:

  • Fever (usually high)
  • Severe pain in the joints and muscles, but also around the eyes
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin and red eyes
  • Headache
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat and runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Vomiting or diarrhea, especially in children

What is the incubation period of the flu in adults

The incubation period is the time between exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms of the disease. The incubation period for the flu is from two to four days.

Is it flu or cold?

Many people often and incorrectly confuse the flu with the common cold. The common cold is a mild infection often caused by viruses other than the flu.

Distinguishing the symptoms of a cold from the flu can sometimes be difficult, but in general people with the flu:

  • get sick more suddenly
  • look much sicker
  • they feel much weaker
  • have a higher fever
  • have body aches
  • fatigue
  • dry cough

On the other hand runny nose, or stuffy nose are more common symptoms that appear with the common cold.

How long does the flu last in adults?

The disease from simple flu lasts from 3 to 7 days in most adults. Coughing and feeling tired or weak can last up to two weeks after the illness. Complications such as pneumonia can occur in some cases, which will make the whole period of illness much longer.

In general, however, flu symptoms begin to subside after 2 to 5 days. Fever may last up to 5 days, while other symptoms, such as weakness and fatigue, may last for several days. weeks.

Young children and people in high-risk groups (weak immune systems, the elders, etc.) are at risk for complications that require hospitalization. Some people may even die from the flu.

What is the contagious season of the flu in adults

A person with the flu is contagious for up to 7 days after the onset of the illness , although the virus can be detected in their body secretions (such as sneezing and coughing) for up to 24 hours before the onset of symptoms . Thus, a person can transmit the virus one day before the onset of symptoms.

In young children, the virus can spread even within the second week of illness.

To prevent the spread of the disease, experts recommend that each patient stay at home for up to 24 hours after the fever is gone.


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