Influenza vs The Common Cold: Facts and Myths

The CDC reports that as many as 22 million school days per year are lost to the cold annually. The common cold is a respiratory virus that can affect your throat and sinuses, most frequently causing a cough, sore throat, runny nose and sneezing.

Like the common cold Influenza, or the flu virus like the common cold is an upper respiratory infection, however, the flu can lead to more serious and complicated conditions. Both the common cold and influenza are contagious viruses that you get from a sick individual, directly or indirectly.

Contrary to popular myth and belief, do not catch a cold, or the flu, from being wet or chilly. However, there are certain conditions that can make you more susceptible to contracting the virus, such as heightened emotional stress, weakened immune systems and allergy symptoms that involve the nose or throat.

In the US the most colds occur during the fall and winter months, likely related to the start of school and spending large amounts of time indoors in closer contact with contagious individuals.

Because both the common cold and flu virus are both respiratory infections that cause very similar symptoms, it can be difficult to