Cold or Flu: Which is it?

cold or fluAghhhhh. Wanna stay under the covers sick. Head hurts. Throat’s sore.

& the rest of your body doesn’t feel much better.

You’re cold one minute and hot the next.

Cold or flu?

The average child suffers from the common cold five to seven times a year.

Adults? Two to three times annually.

Colds account for 40 percent of all time lost from jobs among employed people.

Each year on average, 5-20 percent of people get the flu, usually from November to April. More than 200,000 are hospitalized from seasonal flu-related complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that thousands suffer flu-associated deaths.

Knowing whether you have the flu or just a common cold will help you feel better faster because you’ll treat it the right way.

Colds are normally gone in 10 days; 13 for smokers. The flu can last for weeks.

If most of your symptoms are in the cold column below, you probably have a cold.

More on the flu side? The flu.

But see your doctor to be sure.




Onset Slow Sudden
Fever Rare Usually high for 3-4 days
Headache No/slight Usual; often severe
General aches/pains Slight Usual; often severe
Fatigue/weakness Sometimes Usual; up to 2-3 weeks
Exhaustion Never Usual; in the beginning
Sneezing Usual Sometimes
Sore throat, stuffy nose Common Sometimes
Chest discomfort, cough Mild to moderate Common; can become severe
Appetite Normal Decreased
Chills No chills Chills


Afrin for 3-4 days for nasal drainage. See your doctor.
Nonmedicated glycerin/honey cough drops. Antiviral medicines
Acetominophen or Ibuprofen for headache, muscle aches and fever.
Older generic antihistamines for postnasal drip.
Sucrets Maximum Strength for a sore throat.


Wash hands often. Avoid sick people. Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Manage stress. Exercise. & drink 8 glasses of water a day. See your doctor: Annual  flu shot; antiviral medicines


Sinus congestion, middle ear infection, asthma Bronchitis, pneumonia, death

Call your doctor.

Contact your physician when you experience any of the following:

  • Persistent fever
  • Painful swallowing
  • Persistent coughing
  • Persistent congestion and headaches

Chicken noodle soup

Yep, mom was right. Chicken noodle soup will help.

Robert W. Ferguson, D.C., F.I.A.M.A., state-licensed chiropractor and acupuncturist, sees patients at 2250 W. 86th Street, Ste. 100, on the north side of Indianapolis by Le Peep restaurant. Just look for the orange sign.

Chiropractic Rehabilitation & Acupuncture now accepts Healthy Indiana Plan for chiropractic services, and most insurance for chiropractic therapy and acupuncture.

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