Cold versus flu

All of the sudden, something hits you, you have a headache, your body aches, you develop a cough… Is it the flu or is it a cold? Do you need to see the doctor? Sometimes it’s hard to know if you have a cold or your symptoms are flu related.

Viruses cause both colds and flus, so the symptoms are similar. Flu symptoms usually come on all of a sudden and are more severe than a cold, while cold symptoms come on more gradually.

Flu symptoms:

  • Sudden onset
  • Fever greater than 101 degrees
  • Cough
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Chills, fatigue
  • Deep muscle and/or joint aches
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/ or diarrhea

Cold symptoms:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny and/or stuffy nose, sneezing
  • Feeling tired
  • Mild cough
  • Mild fever

The flu can have severe complications, so it’s good to know when to see a doctor.

If your cold symptoms last longer than 10 – 14 days and are getting worse or not improving you should see a healthcare provider.

If you have a mild flu or cold, learn how to manage your symptoms at home.

If you need advice on over-the-counter medication to take, visit our pharmacy or call 509-335-5742.

Lower your chances of contracting the flu by getting a flu vaccine.