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Good Question - Do you have a cold or the flu? - Public Health Solutions

Good Question – Do you have a cold or the flu?

The flu is different from a cold. A cold will come on gradually with various symptoms, and the flu will come on suddenly. People who have the flu may experience some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Fever – chills/feeling feverish
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Vomiting and diarrhea may occur; this is more common in children than adults.

*Not everyone will experience a fever with the flu.

Flu vs. Cold

Signs & Symptoms Influenza (Flu) Cold
Symptom onset  Abrupt Gradual
Fever Usual; lasts 3-4 days Rare
Aches Usual; often severe Slight
Chills Fairly common Uncommon
Fatigue, weakness Usual Sometimes
Sneezing Sometimes Common
Stuffy nose Sometimes Common
Sore throat Sometimes Common
Chest discomfort, cough Common; can be severe Mild to moderate; hacking cough
Headache Common Rare

 

For more information go to Center of Disease Control Flu & Symptom Severity

Click here for more information about the PHS Immunization Clinic. You can ask your health provider about immunizations or call PHS at 402-826-3880

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