Rhinovirus surface pattern
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Differences Between Cold, Flu and Sinus Infection Symptoms

By Heartspring Staff , National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


  • Slow onset
  • No prostration
  • Fever, Headache is rare
  • Runny nose, Sneezing
  • Mild fatigue
  • Cough, chest discomfort
  • Sore throat
  • Flu

  • Swift, severe onset
  • Prominent prostration
  • Flushed, hot moist skin
  • 102-104 degree temp
  • Chills, body aches.
    Extreme fatigue,
  • can last 2-3 weeks
  • Cough, sore throat
  • Sinus Infection

  • Facial pains
  • Tenderness of the sinus areas
  • Headaches
  • Nasal drainage that is thick and colored
  • Cough (may be itchy)
  • Postnasal drip
  • Bad breath
  • Upper jaw pain
  • Sore throat
  • Eyes are sensitive to light
  • General fatigue
  • Eye lids swell
  • Reactions to Cold and Flu


    Common Cold Symptoms Medline

    Sinus Infections Symptoms Medline

    Key Facts about the Flu Center for Disease Control

    Time is The Only Sure "C u r e" FDA

    Cold Flu, Allergic rhinitus or Sinusitis Comparison Chart University of Maryland Medicine

    Differentiating between a cold & flu University of Maryland Medicine

    Is it a cold or the flu? KidsHealth, Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media

    Flu verses Cold National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

    How can I tell if I have the flu or just a cold? Student Health Service, University of Iowa

    Cold & Flu Guidlines American Lung Association

    American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology aaaai.org

    Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology jcaai.org


    Heartspring Staff are assistants of board reviewed doctors that are medical editors, authors, and reviewers, providing oversight for Heartspring.net. This article is currently undergoing doctor reveiw.



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