Do you have a Cold, or the Flu?

Here’s how to tell:

Colds and flu are distinct and separate upper respiratory infections, triggered by different viruses. (Outdoor environment- -drafts, wetness, temperature changes, etc. do not cause either of these illnesses.)

The flu is more serious, because it can spread to the lungs, and cause severe bronchitis or pneumonia. In the beginning stages, the symptoms of colds and flu can be similar. Both conditions begin when one or more of the over 200 hundred viruses that cause a cold or flu penetrate the body’s protective barriers. Viruses don’t breathe, digest food or eliminate, but they replicate themselves with a vengeance. Nose, eyes and mouth are usually the sites of invasion from cold viruses.

The most likely target for the flu virus is the respiratory tract. Colds and flu respond to different treatments. The following symptomatic chart can help identify your particular condition and allow you to deal with it better.

A Cold Profile looks like this:

* Slow onset. No prostration.
* Body aches–largely due to the release of interferon (an immune stimulator).
* Rarely accompanied by fever and headache.
* Localized symptoms such as sore throat, sinus congestion, listlessness, runny nose and sneezing.
* Mild fatigue and weakness as a result of body cleansing.
* Mild to moderate chest discomfort, usually with a hacking cough.
* Sore or burning throat common.

A Flu Profile looks like this:

* Swift and severe onset.
* Early and prominent prostration with flushed, hot, moist skin.
* Usually accompanied by high (102�-104�) fever, headache and sore eyes.
* General symptoms like chills, depression and body aches.
* Extreme fatigue, sometimes lasting 2-3 weeks.
* Acute chest discomfort, with severe hacking cough.
* Sore throat occasionally.

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