Is It a Cold or the Flu: How to Tell the Difference

Monday, September 10th, 2018, 6:14 pm

Your nose is running, you can’t stop coughing, and you feel terrible. It’s fall, which means the flu and the common cold are both potential causes of your symptoms. How can you interpret your symptoms to determine the real cause of your misery? Use this guide to help!

Similar Symptoms, Different Virus

According to the CDC, the flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms, but they are caused by different viruses. In general, colds are usually milder than the flu and rarely result in the serious health problems like pneumonia, bacterial infections, and hospitalizations like the flu can cause.

Track Symptoms

Though symptoms of influenza and the common cold sometimes overlap, track your symptoms and use the guide below to determine which illness you have.

Symptoms of influenza include:

  • Abrupt onset of symptoms

  • Fever with body aches and chills

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Headache

  • Chest discomfort

Meanwhile, symptoms of the common cold are more likely to include:

  • Gradual onset of symptoms

  • Sneezing

  • Stuffy nose

  • Sore throat

  • Cough

Is There a Fever Involved?

Fever is one symptom that can help you eliminate the common cold as a possibility. A fever usually occurs with an infection, so if your symptoms include a fever, treat your illness like the flu.

If your symptoms become steadily worse or you are concerned about how uncomfortable you feel, don’t hesitate to visit Suncoast UCC in Trinity or Spring Hill, Florida. Suncoast UCC offers walk-in urgent care services with flexible hours so you can get the care you need, when you need it. Call (727) 372-3888 to learn more


back to top

Category: Infections

Comments are closed.

Contact Us Today!

    Locate Our Offices