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Sharp Health News

Is it a cold or the flu? (infographic)

Dec. 19, 2018

Leer en español

Coughing, headache and fatigue: these common symptoms may indicate the common cold, or a more serious case of influenza. Although they have some of the same warning signs, cold and flu should be treated differently. Dr. Matthew Messoline of Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group has some words of wisdom for you if you're wondering whether to call the doctor.

Is it a cold or the flu? (infographic) A cold is relatively harmless, but the flu can lead to more serious complications. Learn the signs and symptoms of both so you know when to seek appropriate treatment. Symptoms. Cold: Low or no fever. Flu: Fever of 101 degrees F or higher. Cold: Sometimes a headache. Flu: Always a headache. Cold: Stuffy, runny nose. Flu: Clear nose. Cold: Sneezing. Flu: Sometimes sneezing. Cold: Mild, hacking cough. Flu: Often severe cough. Cold: Slight aches and pains. Flu: Severe aches and pains. Cold: Always sore throat. Flu: Sometimes a sore throat. Cold: Normal energy level. Flu: Extreme exhaustion. When to call your doctor. Always consult a doctor if you're concerned about a cold or flu, but look out for these concerning symptoms. Seek medical advice if you: Are 6 months to 4 years old. Babies under 6 months showing flu symptoms should be evaluated immediately. Are pregnant. Have a chronic disease or heart, liver, kidney or lung condition. Have a suppressed immune system. Develop shortness of breath. Have a severe cough. have a severe headache. Experience worsening symptoms. From the expert. While colds may be a nuisance, they generally do not cause significant problems in healthy people. The flu can have you feeling poorly for up to three weeks and in some cases can cause much more severe consequences even if you're healthy, so stay protected and get your flu shot. - Dr. Matthew Messoline, family medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group. 2018 Sharp HealthCare. All rights reserved.

View the printable version of this infographic.

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