What is the difference between a cold and the flu?
The main difference between a cold and the flu is that the flu is caused by very different virus types than a cold. Flu symptoms tend to be much worse than cold symptoms, and they come on suddenly (cold symptoms, on the other hand, tend to arrive gradually). When you’re hit with the flu, you know it. You can expect to have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, chills, and aching muscles and joints. Colds, on the other hand, are usually associated with a sore throat and runny nose. Colds are much more common than the flu.
How can I prevent getting the flu?
A flu shot can keep you from catching the flu. Scientists create a new vaccine each year based off research showing which influenza viruses will be the most common. Often, the vaccine includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and one or two influenza B viruses.
Another good way to prevent getting the flu is to wash your hands frequently since the virus can spread if you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your nose or mouth. Avoid touching your face, and wash your hands with soap and water several times a day. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available. It’s also a good idea to practice healthy habits like getting plenty of sleep and exercise, managing your stress, drinking lots of fluids and eating healthy foods.