Flu or Cold. Know the differences

Although flu and cold sometimes look alike, there are still differences between them. When you wake up coughing, sneezing, and have that feverish, achy, can’t move a muscle feeling, how do you know whether you have flu symptoms or the cold?
There are some evident differences between the symptoms. Cold is known as milder disease than flu. During a cold you may feel yourself sick for a couple of days, while the flu can make you feel ill for a few days to weeks. The flu can also lead to serious problems, like pneumonia and hospitalization.

What are the most common symptoms of the cold?
First symptom you should pay attention to is a sore throat, which usually disappears in a day or two. There are also nasal symptoms like runny nose, congestion, and sometimes cough that appears on the fourth or fifth day. Usually there is no fever, since sometimes you can feel a slight fever. Children are more likely to have a fever during a cold.
Having a cold, you'll observe that your nose will eliminate watery nasal secretions during the first couple of days. Later, these secretions become darker and thicker. It's absolutely normal to have dark mucus these days and it doesn't mean that you've developed a sinus infection.
There are several hundreds of various viruses that can cause you getting a cold.

How long do the cold symptoms last?
Usually it takes about a week to cope with a cold. The hardest are the first three days, when you are contagious. It will be better to stay home these days in order not to pass the cold to others. Just get some rest.
If cold symptoms haven't disappeared or at least improved after 1 week, that can mean you have a bacterial infection, which requires antibiotics to be healed.  Sometimes cold symptoms are confused with a sinus infection or allergic rhinitis. Of cold symptoms haven't disappeared in 5-7 days, consult your doctor to see if you’ve developed a sinusitis or an allergy.
What are the main flu symptoms?
Flu has more severe symptoms than a cold and these symptoms appear very quickly. These are: fever, sore throat, headache, congestion, muscle aches and soreness, and cough. Swine flu can also provoke diarrhea and vomiting.