Is It the Flu or a Cold?
It’s easy to confuse a common cold with seasonal flu. A cold is milder than the flu, but since the flu can make older people very sick, you should know the difference. That way you will know when to call the doctor, who might want to give you a prescription for medicines that can help you get over the flu.
People with the flu can have fever, chills, dry cough, general aches and pains, and a headache. They feel very tired. Sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose, or stomach problems are less common. What some people call “stomach flu” is not influenza. (courtesy of NIH.gov)
|Symptoms||If It’s a Cold||If It’s the Flu|
|General aches, pains||Slight||Usual; often severe|
|Tiredness, weakness||Sometimes||Usual; can last 2 to 3 weeks|
|Extreme exhaustion||Rare||Usual; when first become sick|
|Chest discomfort, cough||Mild to moderate hacking cough||Common; can become severe|