Home / Health Tips / The Flu or a Common Cold: 5 Symptoms to Help You Tell the Difference

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ACHOO! …And just like that, you know it’s begun. One sneeze turns into several, and that sick feeling, which we’ve all come to know so well, floods over you. Oh, no! Is this the flu? Could it be just a regular cold? Knowing the symptoms, along with visiting a doctor, should help you to determine the difference.

Be mindful of these 5 factors the next time you’re caught feeling under the weather:

  • Timing

Be mindful of which symptoms you have and take note of how quickly they come about. With a common cold, symptoms begin gradually. However, flu-like symptoms come on quickly, typically appearing within 3 to 6 hours.

  • Fever

Having a fever is very common with the flu. You’re much less likely to experience such high body temperatures with a common cold.

  • Body Aches

If you’ve ever had the flu, the body aches may very well be what you remember most. Diffuse muscle aches are usually a strong sign of the flu. Colds can present muscle aches as well, but this pain is typically generalized and much less severe.

  • Congestion

You’re more likely to experience a stuffy nose and head congestion with a cold rather than with the flu.

  • Headache

Headaches are much more common with the flu than with a basic cold.

To get a better evaluation of your symptoms and recommendations for treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ryan Frazine today!