COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - With October comes the beginning of flu season and Dr. Paula Walker-King stopped by News Leader 9 to tell us how to tell the difference between the flu and a common cold.
Dr. Paula says the main difference between the two is their cause.
The flu is caused by the influenza virus and affects the full respiratory tract, meaning the lungs, nose and throat. The common cold is caused by more than 100 types of viruses and mainly affects the upper respiratory tract, meaning the nose and throat.
She also says that those suffering from the flu will be contagious for one to two days before showing symptoms and up to one week after symptoms, while those with a cold will only be contagious for one to two days following the first symptoms.
Because the flu is constantly changing, Dr. Paula suggests you always get the flu shot, even if you had the vaccine last year.