Is it a cold or the flu?

Some signs indicative of which illness you have

So, you’re feeling under the weather. But what, exactly, is ailing you? It can be difficult to distinguish between a cold and the flu, and it’s important to treat the flu appropriately—it can lead to serious complications like pneumonia. Here are some signs that can indicate whether you’ve caught the common cold or are dealing with something more serious:

Quick onset: If, out of nowhere, you feel like you’ve been run over by a bus, you’ve likely caught the flu. Symptoms like fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion and cough tend to come on quickly and are more intense than with a cold.

Fever: This is usually a good indication that you have the flu, as most people do not develop a fever when they catch a cold.

Long-lasting fatigue: With the flu, you will start feeling tired and achy; these symptoms can last for weeks.

Sore throat: Colds usually begin with a sore throat, with other symptoms to follow.

Stuffy nose: Unless a stuffy nose is accompanied by fever, aches and general fatigue, this is a good indicator of a cold.