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Answers To 6 Most Common Questions About The Common Cold

Every year millions of people get the common cold at least twice. So how do you differentiate between symptoms of a common cold to that of a flu? How do you take care of yourself when you get a common cold? These and many more questions are what this article will be focusing on.

What is the difference between the common cold and the flu?

Both the common cold and the flu are caused by viruses. You can tell their difference based on the symptoms they display.

The common cold symptoms are mild compared to those of the flu. They include:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Headache
  • Sorethroat
  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue

The symptoms of a flu are:

  • Sorethroat
  • Headache
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Severe fatigue lasting to two weeks
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea in children
  • Severe muscle and body aches
  • Dry cough

The symptoms associated with the flu last between one and two weeks and they come on very quick. They can also be very severe.

Unlike the flu symptoms, the common cold symptoms come on gradually or slowly and last up to two weeks.

How do you treat the common cold?

The common cold can be treated by over the counter drugs. Given that it is a viral infection, you can only manage the symptoms and help your body fight. Some of the over the counter drugs you can get are:

  • Antihistamines
  • Pain relievers
  • Decongestants

You should also ensure you have a bottle of warm water with you. This helps with hydration and decongestion of your nose too.

Additionally, you can incorporate lots of Vitamin C fruits and foods into your diet. Vitamin C helps strengthen your immune system by enabling your body create more white blood cells. White blood cells help fight off foreign antibodies in the body.

How do you prevent the common cold?

You can prevent yourself from getting the common cold by:

  • Practicing good hygiene. Wash or sanitize your hands often to prevent spreading the virus all over your face and giving it access to your body. It also helps prevent spreading the virus from one surface to another.
  • Stay away from anyone with a common cold. Infact, avoid them like a plague. Do not share unwashed utensils with someone who has a cold.
  • Boost your immune system by taking care of yourself. Exercise, in corporate vitamin C, A, E and zinc into your diet, and rest too. Overworking your body could leave it vulnerable to diseases such as the common cold.

Does the common cold have a vaccine?

Unfortunately no. Unlike the flu and the new COVID-19 virus, the common cold does not have a vaccine. This is because the common cold can be caused by lots of viruses. Scientifically, there are 250 viruses that can lead to the common cold. Imagine having to take 250 vaccines, crazy!

Why do children get the common cold more than adults?

Children get the common cold more since they pass it around faster than adults would. They are very active and will definitely not have their hands washed like an adult would.

They are unconscious to the fact that they can spread the virus fast.

Can I get an antibiotic for the common cold?

Antibiotics are meant to fight against bacterial infections. The common cold is caused by viruses. However, you doctor can incorporate an antibiotic in your dosage if your sinuses cannot drain properly, and get blocked. This can lead to a bacterial infection.

Additionally, the common cold is an upper respiratory infection and can lead to an ear infection. The antibiotics will come in handy then.


The common cold is a temporary infection but can be very annoying. Take care of yourself and your immune system to reduce your chances of getting it.

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