Influenza and Colds: Similar Yet, Different
Today, many people don’t know the difference between influenza (the virus causing flu) and common colds. Influenza is also called flu. Some people simply think influenza and colds are the same thing, but they aren’t. It’s true that both are viral infections of the upper respiratory tract, but a look at their symptoms will reveal that they are different. What causes cold is rhino-virus, but what causes flu is influenza virus. As for flu, it can occur unexpectedly with severe symptoms, but colds normally develop slowly with mild symptoms. At the initial stage, it could be hard to differentiate the two. In this piece, we will look at their symptoms, how they are different, and what you can do to strengthen your defense against them .
Influenza and colds have common symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, sneezing and others. One particular characteristic of flu virus is that it’s more virulent and normally develops faster than a cold. Whenever it happens, high fever, fatigue, muscle aches and pains normally accompany it. For a better understanding of their symptoms, look at the table below.
Differences in influenza and colds symptoms
- Fever Could last 3-4 days. It’s rare
- Sore throat. Not often Common
- Stuffy nose. Occasionally Common
- Sneezing. Occasionally Common
- Chest pain. Common It’s rare and usually mild
- Joint pain. Often and can be severe
- Headache. Common.
- Fatigue. Lasts up to 2 weeks.Very mild
- Cough. Dry and can be severe.
- Onset. Sudden or can be.Slowly
The above clearly show the differences, but what can be done to manage the infections? Well, certain procedures could be adopted and used to treat both of them and reduce the duration of the symptoms. This involves strengthening the immune system to help to relieve the symptoms. The body major defense against infections is the immune system. Our immune system consists of a network of cells, organs, and tissues that have the role of preventing foreign micro-organisms from invading the body and wreaking havoc. Thus, if the immune system is strengthened, it increases its capacity to defend the body from foreign micro-organism.
Some vitamins and minerals can help to enhance the immune system capacity and functionality. For instance, Vitamin C can help to produce antibodies and infection-fighting white blood cells. Also, vitamin E is vital in producing B-cells that helps destroy bacteria. Vitamin E is also good for stimulating the production of cells that looks for and destroy dangerous cells. In addition, it’s good for slowing down the effects of aging on the immune system.
There is also manganese that has antioxidant properties and it’s the main component of an immune related enzyme. Zinc and copper are also good for the development and maintenance of immune system. When you regularly take foods that are rich in these nutrients, you’ll increase the capacity of your immune system defense against infectious diseases like influenza and colds.