Is It a Cold or the Flu? How to Tell the Difference

One is much worse than the other
cold or the flu

A stuffy nose. A fever. General exhaustion and feelings of malaise. These symptoms are no fun, but it’s hard to make it through the year without experiencing them at least once. There are many ways to tolerate and mitigate these symptoms (though some work better than others). But there’s no way to get rid of them entirely. When it comes to both the common cold and the flu, you simply have to wait it out. But what exactly are the differences between the two?

Is It a Cold or the Flu? How to Tell the Difference Gallery

The one thing you can do is prevent a cold before it happens. You can also prevent the flu. Your number one line of defense against both of these illnesses is to wash your hands. It can also be helpful to take care of your immune system. You might consider making lifestyle changes to support immunity or eating immune-boosting foods.

Both the common cold and the flu are contagious; you get sick when you come into contact with a virus your body then has to fight off. Some places you frequent are more susceptible to spreading these viruses than others. So you might want to be especially careful to disinfect your hands and avoid touching your nose and mouth when you spend time there.

But it’s impossible to guarantee safety from these common viruses, so if you come down with one, how can you determine which one you have? Here is how to tell whether you have a cold or the flu.