How to Tell If You Have Flu or Cold 83

having a morning routine makes you a better person

The following article is a guest post.

Because many of the symptoms overlap, it is not easy to tell the difference between a cold and the flu.

But it’s important to know the difference because unlike a cold, the flu can have serious complications, especially for children and older people.

So, whereas it may be a good idea to simply try and ride out a cold, if you have the flu, that’s a very dangerous game to play. That’s especially true if you are an at-risk person or you sometimes come into contact with such people.

One quick way to tell the difference between a cold and flu is that cold symptoms usually begin subtly and worsen over time, and the flu often hits like a ton of bricks.

Another common distinction is that high fever usually accompanies the flu, so keep a good thermometer handy. The best ones are usually the medium-sized ones (not too big and not too small) that are easy to use and have large screens.

About Colds

The rhinovirus causes most colds. One day soon, researchers may develop a vaccine, because the different types of rhinovirus share a common protein. But for now, the sheer number of serotypes makes a vaccine impossible. Scientists have already identified more than 150 distinct strands, and the number grows almost constantly.

Rhinovirus colds are incredibly contagious, especially during the first two to four days after exposure. Typically, the virus spreads through airborne contact or through contact with infected surfaces. The virus survives best in dry air and thrives in the hot and moist areas of the nose and throat.

While there is no way to prevent a cold, there are a number of treatment options.

Some are better than others. Zinc lozenges can significantly reduce the length of these viral infections if they’re taken within twenty-four hours after symptoms begin.

There are also a number of over-the-counter medicines, such as decongestants and antihistamines, which can make the symptoms less intense.

There is not much evidence in support of natural remedies, such as Vitamin C and echinacea. However, they are beneficial and probably have a substantial placebo effect (you feel better because you believe in the remedy).

If a cold does not go away within seven or ten days, it’s probably a good idea to see a doctor. Because there may be a more serious underlying problem, such as sinusitis or bronchitis.

It’s impossible to completely prevent colds, but it is possible to greatly reduce your chances of infection. Avoid people who are sick. If you are sick, avoid other people. Frequent hand-washing with either soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is good as well.

About the Flu

7 Sleep Apnea Symptoms You Should Know About

Colds can strike at any time of year, though they are more prevalent during certain times of the year. But the flu is typically a seasonal illness, occurring mostly between mid-fall and late spring.

Many of the symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose, cough, sneezing, and sore throat, are similar to cold symptoms. People also catch the flu in much the same way as they catch colds.

But the similarities largely end there.

  • Most flu victims are contagious from the day before symptoms appear to about seven days after they get sick. Which is a significantly longer period that a cold virus.
  • There is a flu vaccine which effectively prevents the virus from making people sick even if they are exposed.
  • Over-the-counter remedies are largely ineffective, but there are some anti-viral treatments. And they are quite effective if taken within forty-eight hours after symptoms appear.

If symptoms get substantially worse or you have trouble breathing, call a doctor straightaway before the flu becomes pneumonia.

Aside from the vaccine, avoidance and hygiene are the best ways to keep from getting sick. So practice the same habits as the ones discussed above.

Moreover, it’s also important to develop healthy habits. Get plenty of sleep, eat a variety of foods that include fruits and vegetables. Exercise consistently, and avoid stress as much as possible.

Most people have extremely busy schedules, so even a few days of cold or flu usually have significant consequences. Fortunately, there are some ways to protect both you and your family, and there are also some ways to minimize the impact of getting sick.

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

What is Cryptocurrency and How Does it Work? 6

What is Cryptocurrency and How Does it Work?

Cryptocurrency is certainly one of the most exciting developments in either finance or technology this century—at least, that’s what you’ve probably been told. However, you might not be satisfied that you know enough about what cryptocurrency really is or how it works to start exploring the many opportunities it offers.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to become acquainted with the basics of cryptocurrency. You can get yourself off to an excellent start by checking out this article, which will put you in a position to begin investing in cryptocurrencies for yourself.

What is Cryptocurrency?

At the most basic level, cryptocurrency is simply money that exists exclusively in digital form. There are no physical bills or coins—just numbers representing sums.

That might not seem revolutionary to those of you who are used to the concept of internet banking, but cryptocurrency is more than just a form of money.

The key word here is “currency”—each crypto is a distinct currency in and of itself, akin to the dollar or the pound.

Cryptos are also unique in that the technology they are based on makes them extremely secure. Most cryptocurrencies use blockchain technology, which allows for the creation of a decentralized ledger in which to record transactions.

Instead of having all transaction records stored on a single server (or server bank), blockchain creates multiple copies of the ledger each time a new transaction occurs and distributes them to many individual devices linked to a global network.

As a result, it is effectively impossible to hack or fake transaction records that rely on blockchain technology, since they can always be verified by the copies.

Why are So Many People Investing in Cryptocurrencies?

Now that you know the answer to the question what is cryptocurrency, you probably want to know why so many people are excited about it.

The answer is simple: certain cryptocurrencies have risen dramatically over the past several years—sometimes literally overnight.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are two popular cryptocurrencies that have garnered significant media attention for exactly this reason. Ethereum notably saw a rise of 13,000% in just a year, creating unprecedented wealth for those lucky enough to be holding it at the time.

These success stories have inspired wave after wave of eager new investors, who take advantages of online currency conversion platforms like Uphold to create whole investment portfolios around different cryptocurrencies.

The Risks of Investing in Cryptocurrencies

Business Failure Rate Explained: 6 Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail

Before you run to change your savings into Bitcoin, you should be aware of the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. These risks stem from another crucial difference between cryptocurrency and many other assets: the value of cryptocurrency is based on nothing but the demand for it.

“Bitcoin has no underlying rate of return,” says Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard. “Bonds have an interest cupon, stocks have earnings and dividends. There is nothing to support Bitcoin except the hope that you will sell it to someone for more than you paid for it.”

Still, there’s plenty of reason to hope for that with the amount of attention cryptocurrencies are currently receiving. Just be advised that the cryptocurrency market can be as fickle as any of the investors in it.

Despite the risks, cryptocurrencies offer huge potential rewards to their early adopters. Use this guide answering what is cryptocurrency as a starting point to help you learn more about this exciting new technology, and make informed investment decisions that will support your future.

About The Author

Nick Rojas combines 20 years of experience working with and consulting for small to medium business and a passion for journalism to help readers grow. He writes about technology, marketing, and social media for the aspiring entrepreneur. When Nick is not sharing his expertise, he can be found spending time at the beach with his dog Presto.