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  • Colonial Drug

Is It a Cold or the Flu??

older woman blowing her nose

It isn’t just the Holiday Season that’s upon us- the season of flu and colds is officially here. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them. Flu (Influenza) and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses and the common cold is usually milder than the flu.

People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose, along with sneezing and sore throat. Chest discomfort and coughing are mild to moderate, with fevers and chills uncommon. Symptoms of a cold come on gradually, while symptoms of the flu arrive very abruptly. The symptoms of flu can include fever or feeling feverish/chills, along with muscle or body aches. A cough and chest discomfort are common, along with headaches and fatigue.

Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, while the flu can have very serious associated complications such as pneumonia, inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissues, and organ failure. People who are at high risk of complications from influenza include young children, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. If you think you have flu symptoms and are at risk of complications, it is recommended you receive timely treatment from a doctor.

infographic: signs and symptoms of cold and flu

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