Cold and flu are viral illnesses which are widely known for having similar symptoms. But it’s important to be able to distinguish between the two because flu is deemed more serious. For those who fall into the ‘at risk’ category, including young children, elderly and those that are pregnant, the virus can lead to life-threatening complications. So what are the main differences between the two?

According to Montana Communicable Disease Epidemiology, there are seven distinguishable differences between cold and flu.


One of the most common symptoms of both cold and flu is a cough, but its severity can differ.

If a cough is mild or moderate it’s most likely a cold, but if it lasts two to three weeks it’s likely to be influenza.


Sneezing is common with a cold but only sometimes appears with influenza.

Body aches

Body aches are uncommon in cases of a cold, but if it does occur it should only be mild.

But with influenza body aches is a definite symptom.


You may feel some mild weakness if you have a cold but with influenza this can be severe.


It’s uncommon that you experience chills with a cold but in cases of influenza, getting sudden cold shivers is common.


It’s rare you’ll experience a headache if you have a cold but this will usually occur for someone with influenza. This can also be severe.


A fever is rare in someone that has a cold but for a patient with influenza their body temperature can be 100F or higher.

Daily Express :: Health Feed

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