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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Is It a Cold or the Flu?

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    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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