Cold vs. Flu Symptoms - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Cold vs. Flu Symptoms

By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Flu season has arrived early here in Lubbock, but with the normal flu, H1N1, and the common cold hanging around, it's hard to know what symptoms go with what virus, and what you should do to protect yourself.

"Both are viruses, but the flu is a virus that makes you sicker than the common cold," said Covenant ER Dr. Jose Lizarribar. 

A big indicator of the flu or H1N1 and not a cold is a high fever. Other symptoms of the flu are severe body aches, chills, and a sudden onset of symptoms.

"If you think you have the flu you should see your doctor if you are very young, or you are very old, if not just try to isolate yourself from contact if you can," said Lizarribar. 

Cold symptoms are going to be less severe, like sneezing, sore throat, and coughing.

"But basically if you do the right thing clean your hands, and drink lots of fluids, old fashion orange juice, you should do well in a couple of days," said Lizarribar.




Swine Flu


Fever is rare with a cold.

Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.


A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.

A nonproductive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).


Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.

Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.

Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.


Chills are uncommon with a cold.

60% of people who have the flu experience chills.


Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.

Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.


Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.

Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.

The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.


A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.

A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.

Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu..

Chest Discomfort

Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.

Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

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