August 2014

Is It a Cold or the Flu

 

 

 

 

Is It a Cold or the Flu?

Here are some of the more common respiratory symptoms related to the common cold, and the flu.

Check
your symptoms, and ask your doctor for advice.

Remember, a flu shot is your best protection against the flu.

 

 

Symptoms

Cold

Flu

Bacterial infection

Onset

Gradual

Sudden

Gradual, occasionally rapid

Fever

Rare in adults and older children, but can be as high 102ºF in infants and small children.

Usually 102ºF, but can go up to 104ºF and usually last 3 to 4 days

Characteristically high > 101ºF

Cough

Mild hacking cough While or yellow sputum

Usual, and can become severe, While or yellow sputum

Can be dry or productive, usually greenish or brownish sputum

Headache

Rare

Sudden onset and can be severe and prominent

Sometimes

Muscle aches

Mild

Usual, and often severe

Sometimes

Fatigue, tired and weakness

Very mild

Can last up to 2 or more weeks

Common

Extreme exhaustion

Rare

Sudden early onset and can be severe

Rare

Chest discomfort

None

Common

Common

Runny nose

Often

Sometimes

Sometimes

Sneezing

Often

Sometimes

Rare

Sore throat

Often

Sometimes

Sometimes

 


Important Facts about Colds and the Flu

 

Both the common cold and the flu, are viral infections that typically affect the respiratory tract. Since they are caused by viruses, antibiotics are of no value. Using antibiotics can increase the risk of allergic reactions to the antibiotic and super-infections with the stimulation of "super bacteria" being created during a period of impaired immune system functioning and with antibiotics killing off friendly protective organisms. One of the best ways to help fight the common cold or the respiratory symptoms of the flu is with plenty of fluids. If you use this chart above, and recognize that you do not have a bacterial infection, then do not go to your doctor’s office as you can infect already impaired sick people who are sitting in the waiting room waiting their turn to see the doctor.