What Are Colds and the Flu?

Colds and flu come from viruses, which are foreign entities that enter the body and challenge our immune system. They can create a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to severe and debilitating discomfort.

What Is the Difference Between Colds and Flu?

Colds and flu come from different kinds of viruses. A cold virus is called a rhinovirus, because it often presents with stuffiness of the nose, while the flu comes from the influenza virus. Influenza and colds tend to have different symptoms, although they may have some in common.

What Are the Symptoms?

Cold symptoms are usually milder and can include sore throat, stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, and headache. The flu often comes with a fever and body aches, but you may have cold symptoms as well.

What Are the Causes of Cold and Flu?

You get a cold or the flu by being infected by a person who has the virus already. This infection can come through the air, such as if a person coughs or sneezes on or near you, or through contact, such as if a person wipes their nose, touches your hand, and then you subsequently touch your nose or mouth. Colds and flu tend to spread more in the winter, as the viruses are heartier in colder temperatures.

Woman with the flu


The doctor can usually diagnose a cold or the flu by your symptom pattern.

What Are the Treatment Options?

Unfortunately, there are no cures for viruses. The best way to treat a cold or the flu is not to get one in the first place, which is why you should always practice good personal hygiene and consider a flu shot every year, especially if you are in a vulnerable population such as being older or having pre-existing conditions. Cold remedies such as rest, drinking fluids and over-the-counter cold medications to manage symptoms are often the best approach, although you should always consult your doctor before following any treatment recommendations.


Visit Us for the Best Cold and Flu Treatments in Northwest Georgia

While most colds or flu usually pass in a week or two, you should never take chances with your health. If you have concerns about symptoms that may be a cold or flu, you can always schedule an appointment with Esslinger Medical and Aesthetics. You can even schedule a remote telehealth appointment as a first step. To schedule, call (470) 888-6543 or fill out the form below.

Form background image



The Esslinger Medical & Aesthetics team is ready to manage all your health and wellness needs. To schedule an appointment, submit the form below now or call our office by dialing (470) 888-6543.