This short video from Mayo Clinic has the lowdown on the classic winter sicknesses, colds, and the flu. If you end up with one of them, over the counter medications and rest is usually enough to get you back on your feet. But, the deadly flu season we are having might warrant a trip to the doctor.
Influenza is an illness caused by a very small number of different viruses. It causes problems in our whole body - systemic symptoms. The cold is also caused by viruses, but there are more than 200 of them that can cause infections, and we cannot gain resistance to all of them. The symptoms of a cold are more limited, however, and tend to only affect our nose and throat instead of everything.
These viral infections can also lead to a 'superimposed bacterial infection' that impacts the ears or lungs, for example.