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Do I have a cold or the flu? 1,2

The common cold and flu are both infections of the airways (nose, throat, chest) but are caused by different viruses. Because the symptoms are so similar it may be difficult to know whether you have a common cold or the flu. In general, flu is worse than the common cold and the symptoms are more intense. The flu can also lead to serious complications.

 Common coldFlu (Influenza)
Symptom onsetGradual over one or two daysSudden
Body aches & painsSlightUsual
ChillsUncommonFairly common
Runny, stuffy noseCommonSometimes
Sore throatCommonSometimes
Chest discomfort, coughMild to moderateCommon

Watch the video to the right to find out how the flu virus invades your body.

References: 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cold Versus Flu.  [online] 2018 Jan 30 [cited 2018 Mar 26. Available from: URL: 2. NHS Choices. Cold or Flu? [online] 2017 Sept 1 [cited 2018 Mar 26]. Available from: URL:

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