With the changing seasons, cold and flu viruses run rampant, causing people to experience symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue, and body aches. However, these symptoms are not exclusive to the flu. In this article, we’ll discuss five illnesses that can cause similar symptoms, but are not the flu.
Mononucleosis, or “mono”, is a viral infection that commonly affects young adults and teens. Sharing utensils, drinks, kissing or coughing can spread it easily. People infected with mono will experience symptoms of fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, fever, sore throat, and body aches. These symptoms can last up to four weeks. To treat mono, doctors recommend plenty of rest and fluids.
Pneumonia is a lung infection that causes symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain. It can be life-threatening for young children, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. It is often diagnosed through a chest X-ray and treated with antibiotics.
Streptococcus is a bacterial infection that can cause sore throat, fever, headache, and fatigue. It spreads easily and can cause rheumatic fever, scarlet fever or kidney inflammation if untreated. Medical professionals often diagnose streptococcus through a throat culture or a rapid test. Streptococcus can be treated with antibiotics.
4. Seasonal Allergies:
Allergies can trigger symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and sore throat. Allergies can be caused by factors like pollen, dust, pet dander, or mold. While allergies are not contagious, they can reduce a person’s quality of life. Antihistamines can provide relief for allergy sufferers.
Bronchitis is a viral infection that causes inflammation in the bronchial tubes. Symptoms of bronchitis include cough, fever, chest congestion, and shortness of breath. In people with asthma or other respiratory issues, bronchitis can be serious. Bronchitis is often diagnosed through a physical exam or chest X-ray. It is usually treated with cough suppressants, inhalers, or asthma medications.
While the flu is a common ailment during the cold and flu season, it is not the only illness that shares similar symptoms. Mononucleosis, pneumonia, streptococcus, seasonal allergies, and bronchitis all cause symptoms similar to those of the flu. To receive an accurate diagnosis and treatment, it is vital to consult a healthcare professional if you experience any of these symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent severe health complications.