What are the symptoms of cold and flu?

Symptoms of cold and flu. Colds - the virus multiplies in the soft, warm surfaces found in the nose, throat, sinuses, the windpipe (trachea) and the breathing tubes (the bronchi). The main symptoms are blocked or runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and cough. There may also be a fever, aching muscles and fatigue. The symptoms usually last for a week.

Flu - These are the same as colds but the muscle aching is usually more severe and the fatigue may last for a few weeks after the illness has cleared up. To most healthy adults, flu can be just like a nasty cold. However, young children, the elderly and people with certain chronic medical conditions are susceptible to potentially serious complications. These are mostly related to a secondary bacterial infection of the lungs (pneumonia) or of the ears, nose and throat. In children under about six years old, fits - known as febrile convulsions - can occur as a result of the high body temperature.

If the following symptoms develop with a cold, you should consult a doctor promptly:

Severe vomiting or diarrhea
• Earache
Difficulty breathing
Skin rash
• Uncontrollable cough
• Cough with green sputum - phlegm
• Extreme lethargy or drowsiness

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