Cold Versus Flu
Flu or Influenza | get your flu shot today at MacKoul Pediatrics
As care givers, we are always asked what is the difference between a cold and the flu? With all the marketing by the cold and flu over-the-counter remedies; it gets confusing.

What is the difference between a cold and flu?

Flu and common cold are both respiratory illnesses caused by difference viruses. Both of these have similar symptoms which makes it difficult to tell the difference. Typically, the flu is worse that a cold. Flu symptoms are more intense and colds are usually milder. Serious health problems rarely arise with colds. However, the flu can have very serious associated complications.

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

The both share many symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference with just symptoms. Special tests must be completed, within the first few days of illness, to uncover if a person has the flu.

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

Flu symptoms include:
  • fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • abrupt onset

Cold symptoms include:
  • milder symptoms that the flu
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sore throat
  • sneezing
  • gradual onset
Is It A
Signs and Symptoms
Cold Flu
Symptom Onset
Gradual Abrupt
Fever Rare Usual
Aches Slight Usual
Chills Uncommon Fairly common
Fatigue, weakness
Sometimes Usual
Sneezing Common Sometimes
Stuffy nose
Common Sometimes
Sore throat
Common Sometimes
Chest discomfort, cough
Mild to moderate
Headache Rare Common

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Get your Flu shot today at MacKoul Pediatrics, Cape Coral, Florida

About author MacKoul Pediatrics

MacKoul Pediatrics is an amazing local pediatrics office in Cape Coral, FL where caring, compassionate doctors and nurses work with you to keep your children as healthy as possible. MacKoul cares for children from birth to college age, from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Naples, and beyond.

September 19, 2019