So, what’s the difference between cold and flu? Let's start with colds.
The common cold
Colds are very common, and almost everyone is familiar with the symptoms - a runny or blocked nose, sore throat, coughing and sneezing1. They usually last from one to three days, and sometimes you may also get mild fever or feel tired.
There are about 200 different viruses that cause colds, and while they do tend to make you feel a bit miserable, you can often ‘soldier on’.
Influenza, or the flu as it is more commonly know, is more serious. Symptoms of flu may hit very suddenly and you’re likely to experience a high fever, dry cough, body aches and feel extremely weak and tired. You may also experience congestion, a sore throat and chills.
It’s likely to send you to bed for a few days, and can sometimes leave you feeling terrible for a couple of weeks. The flu can also lead to complications like pneumonia and bronchitis2.
Watch Medibank expert Dr Zoy Boyatzis explain.