There is a lot of difference between a cold and flu, while a cold slowly builds over a few days, symptoms of the flu typically come on suddenly and you'll start to feel ill within a few days of becoming infected.
Confusing flu with a bad cold is common. Flu and cold symptoms may both include a runny/blocked nose, sore throat, and cough, reports The Independent.
When in flu, children can suffer from diarrhoea and vomiting, but adults generally will not have this symptom.
If you meet any of the following categories, then you should consider visiting your doctor.
The categories are:
- You are 65 years of age or over.
- You're pregnant.
- You have a long-term medical condition - such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease or a neurological disease.
- You have a weakened immune system - for example, because you're having chemotherapy or have HIV.
- You develop chest pain, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or start coughing up blood.
- Your symptoms are getting worse over time or haven't improved after a week.
Influenza viruses annually affect about a billion people worldwide, and cause 250,000 to 500,000 deaths, mainly in the over-65 age group.
The flu burden in India is huge; the total number of cases until 1 October this year had crossed 36,000 countrywide, and the number of deaths was close to 2,000.
While people feel horrible for a few days, take comfort from the knowledge that in most cases it will soon pass.