1. You’re running a high fever.
2. You’re sneezing.
3. You’re extremely tired.
4. You also have a pounding headache.
5. You’re achy.
6. Your throat is sore.
1. Flu. A high number on your thermometer is a sign you’ve got the flu. Colds rarely cause a fever, but the flu can make your temperature spike as high as 102 degrees.
2. Cold. The flu can clog up your nose, but sniffles and sneezes are more often signs of a cold. If congestion makes you uncomfortable, talk to your pharmacist about OTC medications that can treat your symptoms.
3. Flu. A cold can leave you a little drained, but it shouldn’t exhaust you. The flu can feel like you’ve been run over by a steamroller. You may need some antiviral medicine.
4. Flu. A headache along with the cough, body aches and fever is very common with the flu. Colds can also cause a headache as well.
5. Flu. Your muscles can feel a little achy with a cold (like they do after a workout). With the flu, the achiness is more severe and most intense in your back, arms and legs.
6. Cold and flu. Both can make your throat feel scratchy and sore.
Ask the M.D.
Do I have a cold or the flu? The speed and intensity of your symptoms can give you clues to which ailment you have. Colds come on gradually and are mild. Flu symptoms start suddenly and can wipe you out.
What can I do to get better? Rest is the best prescription for respiratory ailments. Pain relievers and decongestants can ease symptoms while you recover. Antiviral drugs treat the flu, but you need to start them within 48 hours after your symptoms begin.
How can I avoid getting sick in the future? To keep cold and flu germs away, wash your hands with warm water and soap and use hand sanitizer. Put extra distance between you and anyone who coughs or sneezes.