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Cold and Flu- What Are The Symptoms

Cold and Flu Videos

What Are the Symptoms of a cold and the flu?

There is some overlap of symptoms between colds and the flu. They all can give you a runny nose and make you cough, sneeze and feel unwell. However, the flu is usually a much more severe illness. One of the most important points is that it can cause your temperature to go much higher. With a cold you might not notice much of a raised temperature, and if it is higher its probably only raised by a degree or two. The flu can give you a much more severe fever. So a high fever, over 39°c, is very unlikely to be a cold and much more likely to be flu.

The flu also gives you what we call a systemic symptom, or symptoms right across the body. With a cold, the symptoms are usually just limited to your face and nose. You might have a sore throat or a little bit of a headache, but it’s usually just a case of the sniffles or a blocked nose. On the other hand, with the flu you can suffer with aching muscles, a raging headache and nausea. It’s a much more widespread illness so if you have severe symptoms it’s much more likely to be the flu.

Dr Trisha Macnair

10853 Published November 2012

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