Handy Chart: Cold vs. Flu

Cold vs Flu

So you’ve been feeling yucky. You might be wondering if it’s a cold or the dreaded flu that is the culprit for your cough, sniffles, and runny nose. Well, it might not bring much relief at this point, but hopefully this chart will help determine the root of your ailment, as treatment approaches can differ depending on which you have.

The Red Cross would like to remind all our readers that the best way to prevent colds and flus is to wash your hands regularly, cover coughs and sneezes, and get the flu shot.

Cause/Symptom Influenza Common Cold
Cough Common and can be severe Mild to moderate hacking cough
Fever Can be sudden and high and last for days Rare
Sore throat If it occurs, can be very painful Can be scratchy and painful
General aches and pains Common and affects the whole body Can occur and are mild
Nasal discharge Can occur and is usually clear Usually occurs along with nasal congestion
Headache Can occur and be severe Rare, but may present if you are congested
Duration On average 10 days On average five to seven days but can last two weeks
Other common symptoms Tiredness, weakness, chills Sneezing

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