Is it a Cold or Flu?

Is it a Cold or Flu?

Did you awaken this morning sneezing and coughing? Are you feeling feverish and achy? When you don’t know the symptoms, it’s a guessing game, one that leads to taking the wrong medications.

According to A cold is a milder respiratory illness than the flu. While cold symptoms can make you feel bad for a few days, flu symptoms can make you feel quite ill for a few days to weeks. The flu can also result in serious health problems such as pneumonia and hospitalizations. Read the full article on Differences of Flu and Cold.


Q1 – Is there a difference between a cold and flu?
A1 – Symptoms vary between a cold and flu. The flu may last for a longer period of time and can have more severe symptoms.

Q2 – What are the common symptoms of a cold?
A2 – Someone suffering from a cold may experience the following symptoms: a fever up to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, though this is rare; a runny or stuffy nose, which can lead to sinus pain or infections; sore throat; hacking cough; minor muscle aches on occasion; headache, that may relate to sinus problems and watery eyes. Symptoms of a cold often appear slowly, and may progress over a period of days or even weeks in some cases.

Q3 – What are the common symptoms of the flu?
A3 – A fever 102 degrees Farenheit or higher could appear, although if it persists an older adult should consider this a reason to seek medical attention. Other symptoms could include nausea; chills and sweats; severe fatigue, muscle aches and headaches; chest discomfort and dry cough.

Q4 – How does a cold or flu develop?
A4 – There are over 200 viruses that may cause the common cold, but much fewer that generate the flu. Often these viruses are spread through the air or from contact with a person or object containing the bacteria.

Q5 – Can seniors prevent the contraction of these viruses?
A5 – Maintaining good overall health, through diet and exercise results in a stronger immune system which can fend of viruses like the cold or flu. It’s also advisable that seniors get the flu vaccine, and maintain good hygiene through regular hand washing.

Q6 – Are these viruses life-threatening to seniors?
A6 – The flu specifically can cause more serious complications, like bronchitis and pneumonia, which can lead to death if not treated quickly and effectively.

Q7 – Should seniors visit their doctor for every cold or flu?
A7 – Medical assistance isn’t always necessary for a cold or flu, but is advisable for a senior who would feel more confident consulting with their doctor. There are certain situations where immediate medical attention should be sought, including prolonged fevers over 102 F, symptoms that last more than 10 days, trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest, fainting, confusion or disorientation, persistent vomiting, or irregular pain.

A Home Instead CAREGiver in Mississauga can serve as a second set of eyes and ears for your loved one while providing non-medical services that can help track medications and doctors’ appointments. We can be reached at 905 521-5500.

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home. Please call 905 521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

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