Cold or Flu? Experts Teach You to Distinguish!

The common cold and flu usually have many common symptoms, such as sore throat, coughing and sneezing, which makes the two difficult to distinguish. After a period of illness, the symptoms begin to appear differently, which makes the treatment prolonged. If you get the flu, a little discomfort, it can even be life-threatening.


1. Is there a fever?
Symptoms specific to the flu include high fever, chills, body aches and nausea. A fever is usually the biggest feature of the flu; the symptoms of a cold are usually concentrated in specific parts of the body such as the nose, throat, ears and chest.
If your baby has a high fever, be sure to seek medical attention within 24 hours.

2. Does the symptom occur quickly?
The speed of the onset of symptoms can also help distinguish between the two diseases: most people with cold symptoms will last for many days before they reach the peak period; and the rate of influenza attacks is extremely fast and very intense, showing the characteristics of emergency. Dr. Van Diepen said that perhaps the last minute of flu patients still feel good, and the next second began to have a headache and sweat.

3. Dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath
If you have symptoms of dizziness, shortness of breath or chest pain, it is likely to indicate that the flu has contracted or developed pneumonia. Your doctor recommends that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.

4. Coughing? do not worry
Cough is usually a symptom of the common cold, but if you develop a breathing problem, you need to pay attention.

Prevention and treatment:

1.Influenza vaccine

Doctors strongly recommend that everyone get a flu shot to protect themselves from the virus, and that it is not too late to inject now. Even if you have the flu, your flu shot can help your body fight the virus better.

2. Ample sleep and water

Dr. Secemsky said that adequate rest and hydration can enhance immunity while reducing symptoms.

3. Don’t be a virus spreader

The common cold and flu are highly contagious and can be spread by sneezing, coughing and contact. Therefore, if you think you have the flu, or have been diagnosed with a flu patient, please do not go to a place where people are concentrated and mobile, to avoid the spread of the virus.

4. You can try your own medication – but remember this only applies to early infections

Some over-the-counter medications can help relieve the symptoms of colds and flu, and take antiviral medications within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms. But for more than two days, please seek professional treatment!

5. What conditions need to go to the hospital?

Older people or patients with other chronic diseases should seek medical attention if they develop flu, as this may cause more serious infections. At the same time, smoking patients also need to seek help from doctors in a timely manner. Patients with smoking flu are more likely to develop pneumonia, so they need to pay more attention. In addition, even if it does not belong to the above situations, if you have vomiting symptoms, you need to seek medical advice.

The doctor warned: “Don’t think that you can lie down at home for a few days, and the virus infection may soon develop into pneumonia. Even if the hospital is overcrowded, you should seek help.”