Can’t tell the difference between the flu and a cold? Don’t feel bad. They’re both respiratory illnesses, but different viruses cause them.
It can be tough to differentiate the two. In fact, you need to get tested within the first few days of illness to know for sure.
Generally, though, the flu is much worse than the common cold. In fact, the flu can result in serious health concerns, like pneumonia.
Cold symptoms are usually milder, like a stuffy nose and fatigue.
The Center For Disease Control created this awesome chart to understand the symptoms:
Here’s the cold vs. flu takeaway:
If it’s a cold, it’s gradual. The flu is more abrupt.
Fever is very rare for a cold, whereas it’s usual for the flu.
Aches, chills, and fatigue are regular with the flu.
Stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat: a few symptoms more common for the flu.
As always, see your provider if you’re feeling feverish, achy, and fatigued.