10 Ways to Tell If You Have a Cold or The Flu
Signs to look for to help distinguish the culprit of your illness.
You not only wake up feeling fatigued but with a runny nose and a sore throat, to boot. Do you have the cold or the flu? If it’s the former, you’ll probably recover more quickly and have less intense symptoms. If you have influenza, however, you may be in for a rough ride. The flu could leave you at risk for developing serious complications like pneumonia later on. This list will help you determine which ailment has you feeling under the weather.
A sore throat is a symptom of both the cold and flu. While cold symptoms come on gradually, according to WebMD, flu symptoms come on suddenly. In other words, if you feel like your sore throat came out of the blue, you might have the flu.
Congestion is a symptom of both the cold and flu as well, but colds usually produce a runny nose at the onset of sickness, WebMD reports.
Muscle ache is a symptom of the flu alone, so if you wake up feeling sore and also have a sore throat and congestion, there’s a good chance you have the flu.
Fever, along with the aforementioned symptoms, is typically a sign of the flu.
Both cold and flu symptoms last for about a workweek, but the flu may last longer. If you feel better for a day or two but then suffer from shortness of breath and fever, your flu symptoms may have advanced to pneumonia. Prolonged cold and flu-like symptoms could also mean that you’ve developed a bacterial infection.
If you have an upset stomach as well as the symptoms mentioned above, you may have the swine flu.
Feeling tired? Colds may sap you of energy, but fatigue tends to be a flu symptom.
A cough is a sign of both the cold and the flu, but this symptom is more severe in influenza victims.
Headaches sometime strike cold sufferers, but this is usually a flu sign.
When did you get sick? According to WebMD, flu season typically runs from fall to spring. So if you started feeling out of sorts during this window, you my have the flu.
Call your doctor if your fever won’t go away, it hurts to swallow or your cough or congestion doesn’t disappear. These could be signs of conditions that need immediate medical treatment.
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