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Last updated 7 years ago

Cold and flu symptoms are very similar and it may be hard to tell which virus is making you sick. The cold and flu are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different types of viruses. Flu symptoms usually come on quickly (within 3-6 hours) and consist of a fever, body aches, dry cough, and extreme tiredness. Cold symptoms are less severe and people experience a stuffy nose, productive cough, slight tiredness, and limited body aches.

Check out the chart below, compiled by Memorial Hospital, to compare symptoms of the cold versus the flu.

Remember that if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, it is better to act fast and speak to your doctor within 12 to 48 hours.

Want to protect yourself from getting sick? The best way to prevent the flu is by getting the flu vaccine each year. For further protection, follow these good health habits:

  • Avoid close contact with people that are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands. Hand hygiene is the number one way to prevent the spread of infections!
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Practice other good health habits such as getting plenty of sleep, staying physically active, managing your stress, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating nutritious foods.

For more health info, visit us at Memorial Hospital.


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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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