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New Mexico State University
New Mexico State University

Cold vs. Flu

The Common Cold vs. Influenza

If you have cold or flu symptoms and any of the following:
  • A severe headache
  • A chronic medical condition, such as asthma or diabetes
  • An extremely red or persistent sore throat
  • Or, no improvement in 7 days, Seek Medical Care!

Determine whether you have a cold or the flu using the following chart:

Symptoms
Cold
Flu
Fever Rare Usually High(102°F-104°F) Lasts 3 to 4 days.
Cough Hacking Common. Can become severe.
Chest Discomfort Mild Common. Can become severe.
Sore Throat Common Sometimes
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Extreme Exhaustion Never Early and Prominent
Fatigue and Weakness Quite Mild Can last up to 3 weeks.
General Aches and Pains Slight Usual; often severe
Headache Rare Prominent