Differences between cases of colds and flu
- Fever is rare with colds. Fevers of 102 to 104 degrees are characteristic of influenza, and usually last three or four days.
- Headache is rare with colds. It is prominent with influenza.
- Slight general aches and pains happen with colds. General aches and pains are typical and often severe with influenza.
- Mild fatigue and weakness occurs with colds. It can last two to three weeks with influenza.
- Extreme exhaustion never occurs with colds. It appears early and is prominent with influenza.
- Stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat is common with colds. These symptoms occur only sometimes with influenza.
- Chest discomfort and cough are mild to moderate with colds. They are common and can become severe with influenza.
- Complications of colds include sinus congestion and earache. Complications of influenza include bronchitis and pneumonia, which can be life-threatening.
- Treatment of colds provides temporary relief of symptoms. Anti-viral medicines for influenza can be prescribed, but must be given within the first 24 hours to be effective.
Last modified Dec. 4, 2019