What do your symptoms Mean? Cold or Flu?

Fever

  • Fever is pretty rare with a cold
  • Fever is usually present with the flu. 80% of flu cases include a fever. A temperature of 1000 F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.

Aches

  • Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
  • Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Chills

  • Chills are uncommon with a cold.
  • Chills are fairly common in most flu cases. 60% of flu cases include chills. Chills and shivering are a normal reaction to a cold environment, but unexplained chills can also be a sign of the flu.

Tiredness

  • Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold
  • Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu. It’s normal to feel tired at the end of a long day or when you don’t get adequate sleep, but unexplained tiredness can be a sign of the flu.

Sudden Symptoms

  • Cold symptoms are not sudden and develop over a few days.
  • The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

Coughing

  • A hacking productive (mucus producing) cough is often present with a cold.
  • A nonproductive cough that does not produce mucus is usually present with the flu. Dry cough is present in 80% of flu cases.

Sneezing

  • Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
  • Sneezing is not commonly present with the flu.

Stuffy Nose

  • A stuffy nose usually accompanies a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
  • Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.

Sore Throat

  • Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. A sore throat is pain and inflammation in the throat that usually comes with a cold.
  • Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort

  • Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
  • Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu. Chest discomfort is pain or abnormal sensations that you feel anywhere along the front of your body between your neck and upper abdomen.

Headache

  • A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
  • A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

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