Cold vs. Flu: Know the Difference
Telling the difference between a cold and the flu can be difficult because they share many of the same symptoms. And while they’re both respiratory illnesses, they’re actually caused by different viruses. As a result, there are some key differences between the two you should know about—so you can treat your symptoms properly and get better.
Generally speaking, a cold is usually milder, while the flu can be more intense. Also, a cold rarely leads to serious health issues, but the flu can have very serious complications. That’s why it’s important to see a doctor if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed below. Only special tests can determine if you have the flu, so make sure to talk to a health care provider within the first few days if you’re having symptoms.
UNDERSTANDING COLD SYMPTOMS1,2
With a cold, symptoms develop gradually.
UNDERSTANDING FLU SYMPTOMS2
With the flu, symptoms develop rapidly. There’s a sudden onset.
So, even though there are distinctive differences between cold and flu symptoms, many can be subtle—which can lead to confusion. That’s why it’s important to understand the differences so you can recognize your symptoms and take the right approach to treating a cold or the flu. Remember, if you’re experiencing symptoms be sure to talk to your doctor.
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