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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

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Is It a Cold or the Flu?

Below are cold symptoms and flu symptoms. See the differences and similarities between a cold and the flu.

Symptoms

Cold

Flu

FeverRareCharacteristic, high
(100-102°F); lasts three to four days
HeadacheRareProminent
General Aches, PainsSlightUsual; often severe
Fatigue, WeaknessQuite mildCan last up to two to three weeks
Extreme ExhaustionNeverEarly and prominent
Stuffy NoseCommonSometimes
SneezingUsualSometimes
Sore ThroatCommonSometimes
Chest Discomfort,
Cough
Mild to moderate;
hacking cough
Common; can become severe

Complications

Sinus congestion
or earache
Bronchitis, pneumonia;
can be life-threatening

Prevention

NoneAnnual vaccination; Symmetrel, Flumadine, or
Tamiflu (antiviral drugs)

Treatment

Only
temporary
relief of symptoms
Symmetrel, Flumadine, Relenza,
or Tamiflu within 24-48 hours
after onset of symptoms

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on June 11, 2012

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