It arrived with the army of England’s new king. Just days earlier, tens of thousands of men had been fighting for their lives on a marshy field in Bosworth, Leicestershire. There, in the summer of 1485, the bitter rivalry between Henry Tudor and Richard III was finally resolved – with Richard III dying at the Battle of Bosworth Field.
Freshly styled as Henry VII, the victor led his troops on to London. Little did he know that there they would be about to face a very different kind of mortal peril.
The first sign was a feeling of general apprehension, which soon led to shivers, pains, and headaches. Then the perspiration set in. The victims would be swamped by a torrent of sweat, which led to insatiable thirst and delirium. Finally, they’d feel an overwhelming urge to sleep. If they succumbed, they’d likely end up dead. The fatality rate was up to 50%.
Several states have already begun reporting flu-related deaths. Whether you’re the type who runs for the clinic as soon as the flu shot comes out, or you don’t believe in it, the virus is out there, and none of us are immune.
The problem is, flu symptoms can be similar to those that accompany the common cold. So how can you tell the difference?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, colds are typically milder than the flu. People who get a cold are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose, and it does not generally result in serious health problems, such as bacterial infections, pneumonia or hospitalization.
However, the flu can have serious complications, with symptoms generally becoming intense quickly, such as fever, chills and muscle or body aches.
Here are some symptoms to be aware of in identifying whether you may have a cold or the flu.