HEALTH CENTER

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Flu or Cold? by Richard Lu, M.D.

Board Certification: Family Practice

The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar flu-like symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense.  Recovery from the flu can range from a few days to several weeks.  There are special tests that can be done within the first few days of illness, when needed to tell if a person has the flu. 
 
Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations. 

Just a friendly reminder, do not forget your flu shot this year!
 
Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) cdcinfo@cdc.gov

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.