The flu or the common cold?

Text of flu vs common cold

Influenza-like illness ( ILI) is defined as fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater) and a cough and/or a sore throat in the absence of a KNOWN cause other than influenza. Temperature is typically taken with a thermometer. If taking a temperature with a thermometer is not practical, other possible signs of fever include feeling very warm, having a flushed appearance, sweating or shivering.

Symptoms of the common cold and influenza are similar. However a distinguishing feature of influenza is the presence of fever.


What is the Difference Between Influenza and a Common Cold?
Symptom Influenza
Common Cold
Fever Usual, sudden onset >100°F, lasts 3-4 days
Sore throat Usual Usual
Cough Dry, sometimes severe Hacking
Headache Usual and can be severe
Aches and pains Usual and can be severe
Fatigue and weakness Usual and can last 2-3 weeks,moderate to severe
Sometimes, but mild
Debilitating fatigue Usual, early onset can be severe
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea In children <5 years old
Watering of the eyes Rare
Runny, stuffy nose Rare
Sneezing Rare in early stages
Chest discomfort Common, often severe
Sometimes, but mild to moderate
Complications Respiratory failure; can worsen a current chronic condition; can be life threatening
Congestion or ear-ache
Fatalities Well recognized
Not reported
Prevention Influenza vaccine; frequent hand-washing; cover your cough
Frequent hand-washing; cover your cough

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