Originally Posted by r2473
So how did you know you had the flu and not a cold?
I can't say with certainty(both caused by viruses), but since I was being exposed to the flu virus from being around people who had obvious flu-like symptoms, I just assumed that the virus-like symptoms I was experiencing were from the same virus.
When you think about it, very few of us ever are tested for the strain of virus we've contracted. If someone you know gets a fever with aches and pains and then starts projectile vomiting, and then a few days later you come down with the same symptoms, you just assume that you've caught a flu going around. Since antibiotics don't work for viruses, I don't recall a doctor ever taking a flu sample and then culturing it. I would guess that you could test for certain proteins in the immune system after the fact, but I'm not a doctor and I don't know much about virus identification other than knowing that it can be rather difficult (as the controversy and difficulty in identifying and isolating the AIDS virus showed).