Flu vs. Cold: What’s the Difference?

You feel lousy, but do you have the flu or is it a cold? Here’s how to tell the difference:

Woman is sick

The Flu

Symptoms: According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, symptoms of the flu virus may include fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, headache, body aches, chills, fatigue, diarrhea and vomiting. Note that it is unlikely you’re suffering from the flu if you’ve received a current  flu vaccine.

Treatment: The flu is reason enough to stay home from work or school. Follow your doctor’s advice, drink fluids and rest. Get medical care if you have trouble breathing, have chest pain, are dizzy or confused, have chronic vomiting or start to recover only to have symptoms including fever and cough return. Wash your hands properly to help stop the spread of the flu virus.

A Cold

Symptoms: Cold symptoms can be so similar to flu symptoms that it’s sometimes impossible to tell what you’re suffering from unless you have a medical test to make a diagnosis. However, the symptoms of a cold virus are commonly milder in intensity than that of the flu and more often include a stuffy or runny nose.

Treatment: Follow your doctor’s advice. And while there’s no way to cure a cold, consult your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications to help ease the symptoms. Drink fluids and get plenty of rest. As far as eating chicken soup, there just might be some cold-fighting benefits. Wash your hands properly to help reduce the risk of spreading cold germs.

While a cold can be uncomfortable, the flu can be dangerous. Err on the side of caution, and see your doctor if you believe you might be suffering from the flu. To find a doctor call 1-855-665-TMCP. We will be happy to refer you to a physician that meets your needs.

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