Cold vs influenza: What's the difference?

Although people tend to lump "colds" and influenza (commonly called "the flu") together, they really are distinct infections, caused by different viruses. A very bad cold cannot tum into influenza (although a person with a cold could certainly come down with influenza if he or she came in contact with influenza virus).

How can you tell the difference between a cold and influenza? The following comparison points out the similarities and differences. Of course, in the case of any severe or long-lasting illness, you should contact your doctor.

 Fever Rare in adults and older children
Usually 102 F, but can go up to 104 F. and usually lasts 3 -4 days
 Sudden onset and can be severe
 Muscle aches
 Usually, and often severe
 Tiredness /weakness
 Mild  Can last 2 or more weeks
 Extreme exhaustion
 Never  Sudden onset and can be severe
 Runny nose
 Often  Sometimes
 Often  Sometimes
 Sore throat
 Often  Sometimes
 Mild, hacking cough
 Usually, and can become severe