How to Tell if you have a Cold or the Flu

There are similarities between flu and cold symptoms but also some differences. Mainly, with the flu, many times sufferers will have a high fever (from 100-102 degrees Farenheight and lasting anywhere from 3-4 days). With colds, it is rare to have a fever.

Another key difference is that when coming down with the flu, the onset of feeling badly generally is much faster than with a cold. The intensity of the symptoms are generally greater with the flu than a cold as well.

Here’s a list that can help you tell the difference between cold and flu symptoms:

Flu: Comes on quickly, symptoms are generally more intense, normally accompanied by a high fever, headache, body and muscle aches which can be severe, weakness and fatigue lasting for up to 3 weeks. Exhaustion is another symptom that can herald the arrival of the flu and some sneezing, sore throat, and a stuffy nose may occur in some cases. If you have the flu your chest could become uncomfortable and complications of the flu could include bronchitis or even pneumonia.

Colds: With a cold, severe, extreme exhaustion does not occur, headaches are rarea, as is fever. There can be some slight aches and pains, but a stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat are common when you have a cold. With a cold you may have a hacking cough and some moderate or mild chest discomfort.

Treatment for a cold is generally just supportive, while the flu if caught early, within 24-48 hours of its onset, may be treated with antiviral drugs, so it is important to determine if you have the cold or the flu.