Both colds and flu’s are respiratory illnesses causes by different viruses. Though they have similar symptoms, the flu is much worse than the common cold. People with a cold are more likely to have stuffy or runny nose, fevers are associated with the flu. In general, colds do not result in serious health problems, but a flu can progress into pneumonia or a bacterial infections which could result into hospitalizations.
Always see a doctor with the onset of any cold or flu symptoms. Even better, protect yourself by getting vaccinated against the seasonal flu. Each year the World Health Organization (WHO) meets to determine the vaccine composition for the upcoming year. This process looks at the potential of which viruses have the highest likelihood of circulating in a specific region. Based upon this hypothesis a recommendation is made to the type of vaccine to be produced.
Remember this is a best guess scenario. You can still get the flu if another strain of the influenza virus begins to circulate that is not anticipated.
To help protect yourself, carry out good sanitation practices. The best form of protection is frequent and thorough hand washing. Plain soap and water are the simplest and best form of defense. Start by using warm water and any type of soap. Create a good lather making sure to rub in between each finger and under your fingernails. It is best to wash for at least 15 to 20 seconds or as long as it takes you to sing “Twinkle, twinkle little star”. A fun way to get children involved, though you may want to sing to yourself if you are in public.