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Flu symptoms or a cold?

Is it a cold or flu? Although both conditions share similar symptoms, they are caused by different viruses, and flu tends to come on more quickly and the symptoms are more severe.

Flu can cause muscle aches, chills and sweats as a fever comes and goes. You may also have a stuffy or runny nose, headache and sore throat. Flu can also make a person feel weak and fatigued for some weeks.

Flu and cold symptoms chart

Cold and flu viruses can affect people in different ways – but here's a general guide to classic symptoms for each.






Yes - 38C or higher




 aches & 






 Loss of 



 Stuffy or 






  Sore throat



 Dry chesty 




  Sinus problems, 

  Bronchitis, pneumonia,
 serious complications
 for some people


 Good hygiene,
 washing hands,
 cleaning surfaces,
 binning tissues

Good hygiene, washing
 hands, cleaning surfaces,
 binning tissues.
 Annual flu jab


 Over the counter
 cough and cold
 products and/or

 Over the counter flu
 products and/or painkillers.
 Antiviral drugs for some
 people at risk of
 complications who have 
 not had the flu jab



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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on November 08, 2016

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