Cold or Flu? Here’s what you need to know

If you get sick these days, you may be wondering whether you have a cold, the flu or something else. Although symptoms of the cold and flu can be similar, there are some stark differences that set them apart.

Here are 5 signs that you may have the flu.

You have a fever, feel fatigued or have chills.

The typical cold doesn’t often present with a high fever so if you have a temperature, especially a high one (101+), this is a sign you may have the flu. Flu symptoms can also include chills and a feeling of fatigue, which are not common with a cold.

Vomiting and diarrhea.

Two of the most uncomfortable symptoms of the flu are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms are more common in children, but adults definitely experience them as well. So if you find yourself in the bathroom due to either one of these, it’s a good sign of the flu.

Body aches and a headache.

Are you waking up feeling like you’ve done the hardest workout of your life, but haven’t been to the gym in years? Body aches are a tell-tale sign of the flu which doctors say is your body’s reaction to a foreign invasion. Headaches are also common with the flu.

Cough and sore throat.

These two symptoms may be hardest to decipher because they often also associated with the common cold.  Doctors say that a dry cough that doesn’t produce any phlegm is a sign of the flu. Phlegm is more typical of the common cold.

Severe symptoms that come on quickly.

Flu symptoms tend to come on very suddenly whereas the common cold typically presents in stages over a slower timeframe. Fatigue, aches and pains and overall symptoms are often more pronounced and hit harder than the cold.

If you suspect that you may have the flu, it’s important to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration and to see your doctor at the first signs. Several therapies are available that may decrease the length and overall severity of symptoms if you get to the doctor quickly.

We are also conducting free flu screenings at our office. Those who come in for a free screening may be eligible for clinical trials evaluating therapies that may help symptoms. Learn more here.