• June 30, 2015

What Is the Difference between a Cold and the Flu?

What Is the Difference between a Cold and the Flu?

What Is the Difference between a Cold and the Flu?

Before you head off to the nearest Orange County Urgent Care Clinic thinking you have a harmless cold, you might want to rethink exactly what precautions you take prior to heading to a clinic. The cold and flu are both carried by their respective viruses. Not taking precautions before you go to the clinic could mean you are going to infect someone else. Remember, people come to the Orange County Urgent Care Clinic for things like sprained wrists, that aren’t necessarily associated with a viral infection. So, wash your hands thoroughly and consider wearing a face mask or asking for one when you arrive, armed with the knowledge below so you can tell which of your symptoms need to be mentioned for proper treatment.
Symptoms of Flu or Cold
Whether you have a cold or the flu virus, you are most likely going to feel drained. In the case of the flu, it’s because the virus really is draining your body of energy. In the case of a cold, just the fact that you aren’t breathing properly can make you feel worn out. Below are the most common symptoms to help you determine whether you have a cold or the flu.


  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sinus pressure
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Achy joints
  • Stomach upset
  • Lack of energy

Note that you may have some or all of the symptoms, but shouldn’t assume that you don’t have one or the other if you happen to be missing one of the symptoms, or have one that isn’t listed here.

Respiratory vs. Digestive
The main difference between the cold and the flu is the area that the virus tends to attack. In the case of a cold, the virus tends to attack the respiratory system, making breathing difficult. This issue with breathing causes one to feel tired and drained, simply because there isn’t enough oxygen in their blood.
When it comes to the flu, the attack on the digestive system prevents the body from absorbing the nutrients it needs. This means that the body loses its energy source. On top of that, the nausea and upset stomach lead to a lack of appetite, so even potential nutrients are denied. This is why the symptoms of the flu sometimes appear, and then stay long after the flu virus itself is gone.

Infection and Prevention
By keeping hands clean, eating healthfully, and leading an active lifestyle, it’s possible to reduce the chances of a thriving virus in the body. It’s not always possible to prevent coming in contact with the virus, but a healthy body is more readily able to counteract whatever impact the virus may have.
Though antibiotics are not going to help reduce the life of the virus, they can sometimes combat indirect infections that are a result of the viral infection. Other medications and foods can also reduce the impact so that nutrients are a viable option again. An Orange County Urgent Care Center can help reduce the symptoms so that life is tolerable again.

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