Is There A Difference?
Paired like peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, and Oprah and Gayle, the cold and the flu are their own dynamic duo. Medicine boxes promise relief from both cold and flu symptoms, and the illnesses are used interchangeably in everyday conversation -- so you have to wonder: What's the difference between the two, and does it even really matter?
The answer to both questions is a definite yes. While a cold and the flu are both respiratory illnesses caused by viruses and with similar symptoms, the two are ultimately quite different -- -- and proper identification and treatment are vital.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only special tests can diagnose the flu definitively; however, a few telltale indications can help you self -- diagnose before seeking medical attention.
A cold and the flu are undeniably different beasts, but they both can stop you in your tracks and leave you feeling icky for days. With careful preventive measures (and a bit of luck), you might be able to avoid these illnesses and won't need to distinguish between the two.
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