Common Cold or Something More

stuffy nose

You have the classic stuffy nose, sore throat and nagging cough. But could it be more than the common cold?

Both a cold and the flu are respiratory infections caused by viruses, so it can sometimes be hard to tell them apart. Doctors can run a test to diagnose the flu, but without that, your symptoms may give you a hint as to which illness you’re dealing with.

Flu symptoms are generally more severe, and can include a fever, shaking chills, severe body aches and fatigue.

A cold tends to develop over the course of a few days and the worst is usually over within a week. The flu tends to hit quick and hard, with symptoms that last up to two weeks.

Use your symptoms to help you decide whether to call your doctor. If you suspect the flu, see your doctor as soon as possible to be tested. The flu can lead to more health complications than the cold, particularly in the young and elderly, along with pregnant women and those with suppressed immune systems.

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