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Differences between Flu and Cold

The flu and cold are respiratory infections. Because they have similar symptoms, they’re often confused. However, a cold is more prevalent and banal than the flu.

Symptoms

Symptoms and their severity may vary with age and health status.

Symptoms Flu Cold
Fever
  • Common
  • Temperatures between 38 °C and 40 °C (between 100,4 °F and 104 °F)
  • Sudden onset
  • Rare
Cough
  • Common
  • Sudden onset
  • Common
  • Mild or moderate
Headache
  • Common
  • Sometimes intense
  • Rare
Aches and pains
  • Common
  • Sometimes intense
  • Rare
  • Mild
Fatigue
  • Common
  • Intense
  • Duration: A few days, sometimes longer
  • Common
  • Mild
Nausea and vomiting
  • Common in children
  • Rare in adults
  • Often accompanied by diarrhea and abdominal pain in children
  • Rare
  • Mild
Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Rare
  • Common
Sneezing
  • Rare
  • Common
Sore throat
  • Common
  • Common

If You Have Symptoms

You may contact a nurse with questions anytime at Info-Santé 8-1-1.

 

In Case of Flu

Should you have symptoms of the flu, see the information on Flu for helpful advice on how to treat yourself.

Last update: October 6, 2016 3:51 PM

The information on this website by no means replaces the advice of a health professional. If you have questions regarding your health, contact Info-Santé 8-1-1 or see a health professional.

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