5 Signs It May be the Flu and Not a Cold

Flu season is well under way, but not over yet. There are still some precautions you can take to avoid getting the flu, such as getting your flu shot or washing your hands after being in public. 

If you’re feeling under the weather, you may wonder whether it’s the flu or a common cold. We talked to Dr. Mia Finkelston, who treats patients using LiveHealth Online, about symptoms that may indicate it’s the flu and not a common cold. 

  1. Your symptoms come on suddenly, rather than gradually, may be a sign it’s the flu. 
  2. You may feel extremely achy, where those with a cold have mild aches and pains or no pain at all. 
  3. You have a headache. Dr. Finkelston says, a headache is often one of the worst complaints, whereas those with a cold complain of congestion and pressure.
  4. You may feel nauseous. Sometimes there are gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea. This is not likely with a cold.
  5. You feel like you can’t get out of bed. “People who see me on LiveHealth Online with the flu cannot get out of bed or barely can get into the chair to call, while those with a cold are often calling from work because they were able to leave the house,” Dr. Finkelston said. 

If you know you’ve been exposed to the flu or if you think you may have the flu, Dr. Finkelston recommends seeing a doctor as soon as possible. You can use LiveHealth Online 24/7 to see a doctor from your cellphone, computer or tablet without leaving home.

Comments and opinions from Dr. Mia Finkelston are hers alone. This is content from an interview and is not considered medical treatment. 

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