Is it a cold … or is it the flu?

Karen Miller | 11/11/2013, 6 a.m.

Both the flu and common cold are respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. They also share many of the symptoms, but the symptoms of the flu are more severe and can result in serious complications, including pneumonia and bronchitis, which can be fatal. Colds tend to center in the head, while the flu is felt all over.


Cold or Flu Chart

Symptom Cold Flu
Onset Slow to develop Sudden
Fever Rare High – over 101 degrees
Headache Uncommon Very common
Body aches Slight Often severe aches and pains
Cough Productive Dry cough
Runny nose Common Uncommon
Sore throat Common Uncommon
Sneezing Common Uncommon
Tiredness Mild Moderate to severe
Chills Uncommon Fairly common
Vaccine Unavailable Available

Source: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases