Colds vs Flu and Allergies

A cold is not the same thing as influenza. The common cold is usually limited to the head, whereas the flu will affect the entire body. A cold usually begins slowly, with slight sore throat, mild chills or aches, and mild fever not usually over 100°F. The common cold causes a scratchy throat, runny nose, and itchy eyes.

The flu, on the other hand, strikes fast and hard, with much more severe symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, high fever (from 101°F to 104°F), body aches, severe chills, cough, eye pain, light sensitivity, and headache.

Allergies share a few symptoms with colds, but they have significant differences. A cold that seems to be hanging on for months is more likely an allergy. Winter allergies cause itchy eyes; itchy, runny, and stuffy nose; itchy throat; postnasal drip; coughing, sneezing, and season-long symptoms.

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