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Sick child laying in bed with teddy bear while mom holds hand over his forehead and takes his temperature

During the colder months, it’s common for individuals suffering from cold and flu symptoms to visit urgent care centers for treatment. However, it can be hard to differentiate these 2 illnesses. Continue reading to learn how to tell the difference between a cold and the flu.

A Look at Colds and the Flu

The common cold and the flu can seem very alike because they are both respiratory illnesses that can have similar symptoms. However, they are caused by 2 different viruses, and the symptoms of the flu tend to be more severe than those of a cold, as well as easier to identify. Generally, catching a cold doesn’t put people in the hospital or result in major health issues like bacterial infections or pneumonia. The flu, on the other hand, can lead to serious complications in some individuals that can include sinus infections, pneumonia, organ failure, and encephalitis.

The Symptoms of Colds and the Flu

People who have a cold usually suffer from a sore throat for a couple of days, and having a fever is possible. They also experience congestion, a runny nose, and a cough. Flu symptoms are normally more severe and come on quickly. These symptoms can include congestion, cough, fever, headache, sore throat, chills, fatigue, and muscle pain.

The Differences Between Colds and the Flu

Knowing the symptoms of these 2 illnesses isn’t always enough to identify a cold or the flu. Because their symptoms are often similar, differentiating between the 2 may require a special test. Whether you have a cold or the flu or you’re unsure, see a doctor if you have chest pain, trouble breathing, an inability to keep anything down, painful swallowing, or persistent fever, cough, or headache.

At Paramount Urgent Care, we offer flu shots and emergency care at our walk-in clinics in Orlando, Lady Lake, Clermont, and Oviedo. To learn more about our services, please call us today at 352-674-9218.