Cold vs. the Flu

Flu season is here again and in full swing. Your preparation is key to staying healthy. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts and immunizations, the flue can still strike. Early detection and appropriate responses are essential to treating influenza. However, there's just one problem; How do you know you actually have influenza?

Many infections present themselves like the flu especially early on, but there are other factors that need to be accounted. The only sure thing that confirms the flue is a flue test which is usually readily available at your doctor's office. Then there are other similar conditions that can occur during the summer. This is an unusual time for the flu which usually starts mid-fall and goes through April, with a peak in December to late January. Time of year and corresponding weather conditions are just a few ways to distinguish the flu versus other common colds.

The acronym "F.A.C.T.S." helps us distinguish the common cold versus the Flu:

  • “F”ever which can be very high with the flu, but almost non-existent with a cold. You can have other significantly devastating diseases (Pneumonia) when you have a fever, but it does help distinguish between a cold and the flu.

  • “A”ches or pains and discomfort is likely related to the flu and not just a cold. Another key here, is that these aches and pains develop right away, not after days of having an illness but almost immediately at onset with the flu. Another combination of symptoms such as high fever and h