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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Is It a Cold or Is It the Flu?

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    Are you coming down with something? Use this chart to see if your symptoms are more like a cold or the flu. (You will need to see your doctor to find out for sure.)

     

    Symptoms

    Cold

    Flu

     

    Fever

    Rare

    High (100-102 F)

    Can last 3-4 days

     

    Headache

    Rare

    Intense

     

    General Aches, Pains

    Slight

    Usual

    Often severe

     

    Fatigue, Weakness

    Mild

    Intense

    Can last up to 2-3 weeks

     

    Extreme Exhaustion

    Never

    Usual

    Starts early

     

    Stuffy Nose

    Common

    Sometimes

     

    Sneezing

    Usual

    Sometimes

     

    Sore Throat

    Common

    Common

     

    Cough

    Mild to moderate.

     

    Common

    Can become severe

     

    Complications

    Sinus congestion
    or earache

    Bronchitis, pneumonia
    You may need to go to a hospital.

     

    Prevention

    Wash your hands well and avoid sick people

    Flu vaccine once a year

    Wash your hands well and avoid sick people

    Antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza)

     

    Treatment


    Over-the-counter products to ease  symptoms


    Over-the-counter products to ease symptoms.

    Prescription treatments:

    Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza) within 24-48 hours after symptoms start

    Peramivir (Rapivab) for some cases; taken by IV

     

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on June 27, 2015

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