Common Cold vs. Frightening Flu; Do You Know the Difference?

Flu and cold symptoms are common around this time of year, but often we mistake the different symptoms for each one.

Doctors shared with News 13, knowing the difference between the two is beneficial for our health.

Both the flu and cold are common this time of year; however do you know the difference between flu symptoms and cold symptoms?

"Cold and flu are both similar in they are a respiratory illness. Colds typically are self-limiting and will go away on their own. They last typically between four and ten days,” shared Dr. Shawn Snyder from Community Health Centers of Central Wyoming.

From Wyoming Medical Center, Dr. Andy Dunn added to the conversation, “Common cold, yeah they're miserable, scratchy throat congestion but they don't look bad, they just look like they're not feeling well. So go by the eyeball appearance. What they are coming across as and also the history of their exposure."

Doctors also said both illnesses spread through, respiratory droplets, either in the air or on hard surfaces.

Cold symptoms aren't the first stages of the flu, but flu symptoms hit harder.

"Classically people feel like they've been run over by a truck, everything hurts. Their bones hurt their muscles hurt they have a high fever. They just feel horrible. That’s the over whelming symptom."

And anyone can get fevers with both, but for the flu fevers can run in the hundreds.

Doctors also said treating cold symptoms can be treated with simple home remedies and lots of sleep.

"Weather its Zicam, Echinacea, Vitamin C, or Vitamin D. Yeah there’s studies that come out that say Vitamin C doesn’t work or Vitamin D doesn't work to keep colds at bay, but you know what, anything that works."

But for flu symptoms, they need to be diagnosed within 24 to 48 hours with prescribed medicines.

Tamiflu is a common drug that works properly to treat it.

"And then you treat influenza outside Tamiflu like you would the cold. Keep hydration, rest any kind of old wives' tale that you hear try it you never know."

Doctors said patients with compromised immune systems or respiratory issues often experience more severe cold symptoms.

Doctor Dunn added, washing your hands constantly through the day is one of the best prevention methods of not catching either virus.