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Cold or Flu?


Both colds and flu are caused by viruses, but the viruses are completely unrelated. However, both colds and flu affect the upper respiratory tract, so they often produce similar symptoms. Here's how to tell which you are likely to have depending on your symptoms. 

Symptoms Cold Flu
Onset speed Gradual sore or irritated throat, building over 48 hours Fast onset of symptoms
Fever, Chills Low-grade or none Yes. Often high and lasting for 3 days or more
Headache Occasional Common
Body aches Occasional Common
Fatigue/Weakness Occasional Common
Eye muscle pain Rare Common
Runny nose/watery eyes Common Occasional
Stuffy nose/congestion Common Rare
Sneezing Common Occasional
Cough Common Common (dry coughing)


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