Between common cold (flu infection) and flu is often not distinguished in everyday language use, because the symptoms are similar at first glance. However, the diseases are caused by different pathogens and are also completely different in their expression.
The flu - also called flu or influenza - is caused by the influenza virus. A distinction is made between three different virus types, namely between influenza A, B and C. The viruses have the unfavorable property that they can change constantly. For this reason, the flu vaccination must be carried out every year anew.
Cold (flu-like infection)
In contrast, there are approximately 200 different types of viruses that cause a flu-like infection, such as rhino, adeno or coronaviruses. This also explains why you can always get new colds during a year. A vaccination against the influenza infection is not possible due to the large number of viruses.
The viruses are usually transmitted by droplet infection when talking, sneezing or coughing. The viruses of an infected person are whirled through the air and absorbed by healthy people via the respiratory tract. Nasal and pharyngeal mucosa swell and produce more secretions. The immune system of the body is activated and it comes to the typical general complaints such as fatigue and fever. If the immune system is already weakened, the spread of viruses is additionally favored.