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    COLD OR THE FLU?

    How to Tell the Difference Between a Cold and the Flu

    The cold and flu are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different types of viruses. Flu symptoms usually come on quickly (within 3-6 hours) and consist of a fever, body aches, dry cough, and extreme tiredness. Cold symptoms are less severe and people experience a stuffy nose, productive cough, slight tiredness, and limited body aches.

    Is it a Cold or the Flu?

    Whether you need to know the answer now or you’re looking into it for future purposes, we can help. Use the interactive tool below as a quick reference to determine if what you have is just a cold — or if it’s the flu. Remember that if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, it is better to act fast and speak to your doctor within 12 to 48 hours.

     

    Symptoms

    Cold

    Flu

    Fever

    Rare

    Usually Present

    Aches

    Slight

    Usual, often severe

    Chills

    Uncommon

    Fairly common

    Tiredness

    Mild

    Moderate to severe

    Sudden Symptoms

    Appear gradually

    Can appear within 3-6 hours

    Coughing

    Hacking, productive cough

    Dry, unproductive cough

    Sneezing

    Common

    Uncommon

    Stuffy nose

    Common

    Uncommon

    Sore throat

    Common

    Uncommon

    Chest Discomfort

    Mild to moderate

    Often severe

    Headache

    Uncommon

    Common