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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Other Conditions With Symptoms Similar to the Flu

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Sometimes it is difficult to tell whether you have influenza or some other viral illness. Many other respiratory viruses, including common cold viruses (rhinoviruses), may mimic the symptoms of a minor case of the flu.

Conditions that people mistake for the flu include:

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Viral infections such as a cold or flu tend to cause widespread symptoms, such as fever, body aches, a headache, and a sore throat. Bacterial infections tend to have specific symptoms involving only one system, such as a fever and sore throat only.

The flu makes you feel much worse than the common cold. Symptoms often include fever and cough within the first 48 hours of the illness.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerChristine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology
Last RevisedJuly 8, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 08, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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