While the cold and the flu may have similar symptoms, they are different illnesses. The main difference between a cold and the flu is the severity and duration of symptoms. Symptoms of the flu are commonly more severe than those of a cold, and symptoms of the flu often last longer.

What is a Cold?

A common cold can be caused a number of different types of viruses, making it very contagious. Medically known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection, the common cold can also be known as a head cold. Common colds typically progress slowly.

Typical symptoms of a cold include:

How to Treat a Cold

When it comes to treating the common cold, it depends on the severity of symptoms. For mild head colds, patients may be able to treat it at home with cold remedies. These remedies may include over-the-counter cold medications, including antihistamines and decongestants, extra sleep, and staying hydrated. In more severe cold cases, you should visit an urgent care facility to help remedy your symptoms.

What is the Flu?

The flu, or influenza, is a respiratory illness that is extremely contagious. It is most common during winter through spring, but can occur at any time. The flu is caused by a group of influenza viruses and is brought on quickly.

Typical symptoms of the flu include:

How to Treat the Flu

Once patients begin to experience symptoms of the flu, there are some steps that they can take to help lessen the severity of the virus. These include getting ample rest, staying hydrated, using a humidifier, drinking hot beverages to soothe a sore throat, and taking over-the-counter influenza medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, ibuprofen, and cough medicines. In more severe cases of the flu, a visit to the urgent care facility can help to provide you with a prescription medication.

Patients in the Skokie and Evanston, Illinois areas who are experiencing cold or flu symptoms can contact Ultra Med Urgent Care today for quick, effective care.