Flu and common cold

The common cold and flu are the most common respiratory tract infections. While in essence, they are two different diseases, very often they are both referred to by the public as flu.

Their differences are as follows :

  • The common cold is due to over 150 viruses, while the flu is due to viruses A and B.
  • The common cold appears as an exacerbation in the winter months, while the flu, as sporadic cases and can affect a very large part of the general population (every 10-15 years in the form of a pandemic).
  • The symptoms of common cold are milder starting with sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose and cough, whereas the flu symptoms have an acute start, with a sudden invasion of fever, headache, headaches accompanied by sore throat and cough.


The diseases are self-limited with a benign behavior; the flu, however, can express complications, such as bronchitis and  pneumonia that need special treatment.

Finally, it is important to mention that vaccination is a protective measure only in the case of the flu.