Flu Versus Cold: Which do you have?

Posted:February 26, 2018

Are you waking up with a sore throat, cough or even a fever? Most people immediately assume they are flu symptoms, but sometimes it’s not as bad as it seems. The common cold and Influenza share extremely similar symptoms that are sometimes indistinguishable.

How can you tell the difference between a cold and the flu?

The CDC states that because colds and flu share many symptoms, it can be difficult (or even impossible) to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can tell if a person has the flu.

What are the symptoms of the flu versus the symptoms of a cold?

The symptoms of flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness). Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems.

The CDC lists commons symptoms between the flu and a cold to help anyone identify what their illness may be: