Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR
Go to the doctor if you're sick. That's my best recommendation. I spent several weeks trying to "kick" my cold
A cold runs its course in a week. If you still have a "cold" after that, it's not a cold that you have.
There are differences between colds and flu.
A cold is centered in the nose. There are over 200 different types of viruses that can cause a cold. Rhinoviruses, which means "nose viruses", are the most common cause. Respiratory syncitial viruses (RSV) and several others can produce colds.
The three most frequent symptoms of a cold are:
1. stuffed up nose
2. runny nose
3. throat irritation (not a red throat)
Adults and older children with colds generally have minimal or no fever. Infants and toddlers often run a fever in the 100 to 102 degree range.
Depending on which virus is the culprit, the virus might also produce a headache, cough, postnasal drip, burning eyes, muscle aches, or a decreased appetite, but in a cold, the most prominent symptoms are in the nose.
Symptoms start within 1 to 5 days. Usually irritation in the nose or a scratchy feeling in the throat is the first sign, followed within hours by sneezing and a watery nasal discharge.
Within one to three days, the nasal secretions usually become thicker and perhaps yellow or green -- this is a normal part of the common cold and not a reason for antibiotics. During this period, children's eardrums are usually congested, and there may be fluid behind the ears. Antibiotics are not needed at this point.
The entire cold is usually over all by itself in about 7 days, with perhaps a few lingering symptoms (cough) for another week. If it lasts longer, it could be a sinus infection or allergies.
While it lasts, the common cold is primarily a head cold. While you may feel tired or have aches, the illness is centered in the nose, and most of the symptoms are above the neck.
With the flu, you are sick all over with a temperature, aches, lack of energy and within a few days start to develope respiratory symptoms such as chest congestion, and dry hacking cough. The virus can settle anywhere in the respiratory tract, producing symptoms of a cold, croup, sore throat, bronchiolitis, ear infection, and/or pneumonia.
You can find out more about "Cold vs. Flu" at this link. It does a great job at explaining the different symptoms that determine whether you have a cold or a flu.http://www.drgreene.com/21_577.html
Another main difference between cold and flu is that the flu is preventable through annual flu shots.