Knowing the difference between the common cold and flu

Knowing the difference between the common cold and flu

(KWES) - The holiday season is coming to an end but one season isn't, it's flu season.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reports hospital labs across the state have an seen an increase in patient visits that were due to influenza-like illnesses. Usually when it's cold outside, that's when most people are getting sick because they're inside where a lot of people are and it becomes easy to catch illnesses.

So what exactly is the difference between a cold and the flu?

Cold symptoms like a sore throat usually goes away after a day or two but by the fourth day, you'll probably have congestion, runny nose, coughing. Those symptoms usually last for a week.

Flu symptoms are more severe, that includes those cold symptoms but on top of that, there's also the fever, headache, muscle soreness. It usually will improve over two to five days. You could even feel weakness for as long as two weeks.

The best way to know is to check your temperature because with the flu, you'll probably have a temperature above 101 degrees, which is not really common with the cold.

If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, doctors suggest to do so since it's not too late.

The Center for Disease and Control said flu season typically increases in October and November and peaks between December and March. Some can even last as late as May.

Practice safe hygiene by washing your hands frequently with soap and water, carry around a hand sanitizer and if you have to sneeze, sneeze into your elbow.

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