Cold vs. Flu

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You feel terrible, but how do you know if it's just a cold or the flu? Here are some clues that may help you figure out what you're dealing with.

If you're sniffling and sneezing, more than likely, it's a cold. But sometimes, it could be the flu. A sore throat can also be a symptom of both viruses.

But if you're running a fever that's over 100 degrees, it's the flu. Oh, and the headache? You may have one with a cold, but if it's the flu, your head is throbbing.

Also with the flu, your whole body aches and feels like you've been run over by a truck. A cold might wear you out, but if you have the flu, you may feel tired for weeks.

A big difference is what happens next. If you get sick or with a cold, you might get a sinus infection or an ear ache. But with the flu, you could get bronchitis or even pneumonia.

To treat a cold, over-the-counter drugs can usually help the symptoms. For the flu, OTC meds may also help with symptoms. And prescription anti-viral meds may shorten the time you're sick.

Finally, take some simple steps to avoid catching a cold or the flu. Wash your hands often, stay away from sick people, and get a flu shot to help keep yourself healthy.