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Cold Vs Flu: How You Tell The Difference

(Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Every flu season people get it wrong. Is it the cold, flu, or “stomach flu.”  What’s the difference, right?  If you’re sick you’re sick, but it’s a good idea to know if you really have the flu, because the flu can be deadly.  Here’s how you tell the difference.

As a rule of thumb:

  • If you have a fever, runny nose, dry cough, body aches, and tiredness.  It’s the flu.  You very rarely get a fever with a cold.  The flu is usually harder on you than the common cold.
  • You don’t get a fever with the common cold.  It’s a different virus.  Sometimes a new born or a toddler can run a little high in their temperature, but that’s an exception.  Runny and stuffy noses usually accompany the cold.
  • If you are throwing up and having diarrhea you have gastroenteritis.  People call it the stomach flu, but it’s not influenza.  You can have body aches and a temperature with this, but it is not a flu.  A flu vaccine will not help prevent this.

If you have a fever over 100 degrees, you should probably call your doctor.  AND STAY HOME!  Wash your hands frequently, don’t touch your face, and stay well rested and hydrated.  We’ll get through this together.

A great place to get more information to protect you and you’re family is the CDC website.

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