6 doctors weighed in:

How are the flu and the common cold different?

6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Brian Affleck
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
2 doctors agree

In brief: Flu

The flu is caused by the influenza virus.
It can cause nasal congestion, runny nose, fever, nausea, emesis and diarrhea. The common cold can be caused by a variety of different viruses, but the symptoms are usually in the upper airways and don't necessarily cause nausea or emesis or diarrhea. We also have vaccines for the flu. There is no such treatment for common cold.

In brief: Flu

The flu is caused by the influenza virus.
It can cause nasal congestion, runny nose, fever, nausea, emesis and diarrhea. The common cold can be caused by a variety of different viruses, but the symptoms are usually in the upper airways and don't necessarily cause nausea or emesis or diarrhea. We also have vaccines for the flu. There is no such treatment for common cold.
Dr. Brian Affleck
Dr. Brian Affleck
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Dr. Bonnie Bock
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease
2 doctors agree

In brief: Flu is more severe

Influenza is a more severe illness with chills, muscle aches, fever, cough; occurs primarily in winter months, is preventable with a vaccine; & antiviral medications can treat influenza.
Common colds occur year around, cause sore throat, nasal congestion, cough, low grade fever;no specific pescription treatment is available. Antibiotics are only for bacterial complications for viral ilnesses.

In brief: Flu is more severe

Influenza is a more severe illness with chills, muscle aches, fever, cough; occurs primarily in winter months, is preventable with a vaccine; & antiviral medications can treat influenza.
Common colds occur year around, cause sore throat, nasal congestion, cough, low grade fever;no specific pescription treatment is available. Antibiotics are only for bacterial complications for viral ilnesses.
Dr. Bonnie Bock
Dr. Bonnie Bock
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