Common cold or the flu

Common cold or the flu

It’s that time of the year again. Time for changes in the weather, holidays with family—and coughing, sneezing, sore throats, and headaches. When these symptoms hit, how do you know if you have the common cold or the flu?

The common cold and the flu (or influenza) are both contagious respiratory illnesses caused by viruses. They share many similar symptoms, but they are 2 different conditions.

Cold symptoms are generally milder. They develop slowly and can include:

✔fever up to 102°F
✔runny or stuffy nose (often with green- or yellow-colored discharge)
✔sore throat
✔muscle aches
✔watery eyes.

Flu symptoms are more severe. They usually appear suddenly and can include:

✔fever over 102°F
✔stuffy nose
✔chills and sweats
✔muscle aches, especially in your back, arms and legs
✔loss of appetite
✔vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)

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