Is It a Cold? Or Is It the Flu? And What Do You Do?

IMAGE With so many people affected by the common cold and the flu , it may seem impossible to avoid catching one, or both . But you can greatly reduce your chances. Arm yourself with the following information about the common cold and the flu—and don't be the next victim.

Is It A Cold or the Flu?

The symptoms for a cold and the flu are somewhat similar. This easy-to-read chart can help you determine which infection you may have.
Symptom Cold Flu
Fever Rare Usual, high (100ºF-102°F [37.8ºC-38.8°C]) last 3-4 days
Headache Rare Common
General aches, pains Slight Usual; often severe
Fatigue, weakness Sometimes Usual, can last up to 2-3 weeks
Extreme exhaustion Never Usual; at the beginning of the illness
Stuffy nose Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore throat Common Sometimes
Chest discomfort, cough Mild to moderate, hacking cough Common; can become severe
Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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