Flu or cold: Can you tell the difference? - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Flu or cold: Can you tell the difference?

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Because of a rising number of hospitalizations in Valley due to flu-related illnesses, some people may be wondering whether they need to visit the emergency room.

They may be asking themselves, “Is that sniffle is an early sign of the flu, or simply a cold?”

How can you tell the difference?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses but they are caused by different viruses.

Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone.

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more common and intense.

Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.

Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations. Flu can have very serious associated complications.

Special tests that usually must be done within the first few days of illness can tell if a person has the flu.

The symptoms of flu can include fever or feel feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue (tiredness).

Cold symptoms are usually milder than the symptoms of flu.

People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.

Colds generally do not result in serious health problems.

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