I’m sick! But is it a cold or flu?

You wake up in the morning achy all over. You know you’re sick but you’re not sure what you have. It could be a cold or it could be the flu?   Well you’re not the only one this happens to. It seems that we often confuse what we have because so many of the symptoms overlap.

While the two have symptoms in common, the flu tends to come on much more quickly and severely.  If you do get sick stay home.  You really don’t want to share your germs with your friends or co-workers.

Use this chart to help you figure out whether you may have a cold or the flu. Then, go back to bed!

Symptoms Common Cold Flu
Symptoms first show up Appear gradually Within 3 – 6 hours
Stuffy or runny nose Yes Sometimes
Fever Sometimes; mild if present Usually, often 100 degrees F (38.8 degrees C) or higher.
Body Aches Mild Mild to severe
Chills Sometimes Yes, sometimes intense
Sore Throat Often Sometimes
Fatigue, weakness Sometimes Usually, can last a couple of weeks after recovery
Feeling extremely exhausted No Yes
Headache Sometimes Usually, sometimes severe
Sinus drainage Usually Rarely
Chest discomfort; Cough Mild to moderate Usually, can become severe
Watering eyes Sometimes Sometimes, with fever
Ears Ear congestion No
Sneezing Usually Sometimes
Timing Anytime throughout the year Most cases occur in the winter months.

 

Resources:

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/is-it-a-cold-or-flu

http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/Flu/Pages/coldOrFlu.aspx