A 16-year-old female asked:
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what is the difference between a cold and the flu ?

2 doctor answers
Dr. Ahmad M Hadied
48 years experience Orthopedic Surgery
Let me help: The cold and flu are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different types of viruses. Flu symptoms usually come on quickly (within 3-6 hours) and consist of a fever, body aches, dry cough, and extreme tiredness. Cold symptoms are less severe and people experience a stuffy nose, productive cough, slight tiredness, and limited body aches.
Answered on Jan 25, 2013
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Dr. Randy Baker
39 years experience Holistic Medicine
Different viruses: Colds are caused by the 99 or more varieties of rhinovirus; symptoms are sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, cough with mild fatigue/achiness & little or no fever, usually lasts a week & you can function. People use the "flu" loosely but actual influenza is a serious illness- you feel you've been hit by a truck, fever, exhaustion, achiness, sore throat, sneezing, cough, can't function. See comment:.
Answered on Dec 9, 2013
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Dr. Randy Baker
Dr. Randy Baker commented
39 years experience Holistic Medicine
Provided original answer
Colds will resolve without treatment but the herb Pellargonium sidoides (sold as Umcka) is proven to help you recover more quickly. Western medicine does not have great treatments for the flu. The flu vaccine does not work well (see http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/05/reassessing-flu-shots-as-the-season-draws-near/?smid=fb-share ) and drugs like Tamiflu are basically worthless. I do advise optimizing Vit D levels to reduce risk of flu and treating with Sambucol, an elderberry extract proven to help. Homeopathy can be very successful in treating the flu (see http://www.homeopathic.com/Articles/Using_homeopathy_for_ailments/Homeopathy_and_Influenza_Real_Research_Real.html )
Jan 21, 2013

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