It’s often hard to tell the difference between flu and common cold symptoms. Both are respiratory illnesses caused by a virus, but they are caused by different viruses. There is a way to determine whether you have a cold or the flu.
The flu involves a sudden onset of illness. It is usually accompanied by a high fever ( greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit) and extreme fatigue that knocks you off your feet. A dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, achy head and muscles, and the chills associated with the high fever are all symptoms of the flu. Children may also have diarrhea and vomiting.
Having these symptoms doesn’t always mean that you have the flu. Many different illnesses, including the common cold, can have similar symptoms.
The onset of cold symptoms can occur slowly over the course of a day or two. Keep in mind that there is a transition stage of illness during which you don’t have any symptoms, but you may just ” not feel right “… Almost like you are coming down with something. Keep in mind that you are highly contagious during this transition stage of illness. That means that you can get others sick!
With a cold, you may or may not have a fever. You are only mildly fatigued and can often push through the day at school or at work. You will probably have a stuffed or runny nose and a severe cough. There will be no headache, no achy muscles and no chills.
Because cold and flu symptoms are so similar, you should consult your doctor to be sure of the diagnosis. Your doctor will tell you what to take to treat your symptoms. Stay home and rest. Drink lots of fluids.