Not feeling well? Find out if you experiencing the symptoms of a cold or the flu.
We are right in the middle of flu season and it may seem like your friends and co-workers are dropping like flies around you. If you start feeling under the weather, you'll need to be able to assess your symptoms to gauge the severity of your illness to determine whether a trip to the doctor is in order.
Which is it?
A cold may be inconvenient, but the flu can really knock you off your feet. In some cases, the flu may flourish into a larger problem such as pneumonia or an infection that needs medical attention. Here are some ways to determine whether it's a cold or the flu:
- Fever – While a cold may result in a low-grade temperature, the flu typically comes with a high fever above 100ºF.
- Aches and Pains – The symptoms of a cold tend to stay in your head and throat. If you are suffering from the flu, the discomfort will spread throughout your entire body.
- Fatigue – Although it's not ideal, many people can still perform their daily tasks with a cold. The flu isn't so forgiving. You will not have the energy levels needed to get out of bed for much of the day.
- Timing – A cold may come on slowly and resolve itself in a couple of days. The flu arrives suddenly and strongly, and most healthy adults will feel its effects for about a week. Children may continue experiencing symptoms for 10 to 25 days.
Learn more about colds and the flu through our online health library. If you have any questions or need a physician referral, our free Consult-a-Nurse® service is available for you any time. Give us a call at 1-888-256-7692.