Many people get the flu and a common cold mixed up, but in actual fact they are both different ailments. They are both respiratory ailments, but they are caused by different types of viruses.If you have a common cold, then even though you may feel quite ill, your symptoms (unless they increase into something worse) are usually relatively minor. However flu symptoms can make you feel really ill, especially if you go on to develop complications.
Cold symptoms will produce a runny nose, cough, sore throat, sneezing and quite often a cough. The symptoms also tend to come on over a couple of days.
The flu however will affect the whole body and will strike quickly. You’ll have a fever (raised temperature), body aches and pains, a very dry cough and feelings of extreme tiredness.
The effects of the flu can be very debilitating. Most people recover from a cold within 3-4 days, however the effects of the flu can last much longer (often up to several weeks before the sufferer returns to feeling normal)
So how can you tell if you have the flu?
How do you tell the difference from the symptoms you have?
Use our graph to decide whether you have the flu or a cold
Aches and pains
Usually present and can be severe
Appears over time (few days)
Sudden (Sometimes within hours)
Maybe (though mild)
Moderate though can be severe
Not present usually
Yes and can be severe
Can be relentless