The common cold, pneumonia, and the flu: know the differences and warning signs
The dreaded flu season is kicking into full gear and despite precautions like flu shots and washing hands, many people will come down with influenza in the coming months. So when your head is pounding, you have a fever, your nose is stuffed, and you can’t stop coughing, how do you tell if you have the common cold, the flu or pneumonia when all present common symptoms?
Symptoms of the common cold:
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Low or no fever
Symptoms of the common cold take their time. Flu symptoms hit quickly.
Symptoms of the flu:
While cold symptoms are relatively mild, symptoms of the flu are more severe and can knock you out of commission quickly.
- High fever
- Body and muscle aches
- No appetite
- Chills and sweats
Symptoms of pneumonia:
Pneumonia is typically caused by a bacterial infection, whereas the common cold and flu are viral infections.
- Coughing up mucus
- Extreme fatigue
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- High fever with chills
- No appetite
The basic differences between a cold, the flu and pneumonia come down to whether you can prevent and treat the disease. A common cold isn’t preventable, but some types of both the flu and pneumonia can be prevented with vaccines and treated with medication.
If you have the ability to go early in the morning, I think that’s the only way you’ll avoid a multi-hour wait. Arrived at 6:50AM (doors open at 8AM, by that time there were 60+ people in line) and I was the ~20th person camping out in line. Got in the door at 8:40AM. Waited for a few minutes in the waiting room while they took my information. Test itself was quick (
Courteous. Efficient. Competent.
I came in for a cut and they took care of me quickly. Place was very clean, too.
The last thing I wanted to do was go into a medical facility right now. I very much appreciated how professional yet human they were. Thanks to Tara and the whole team there. Doing a great job.