What do your symptoms say?

Click the cold or flu buttons to see if you are showing signs of the flu or a cold. Both can have similar symptoms.

However, symptoms like fever, body aches, tiredness, and coughing tend to be more intense with the flu compared with the cold. In addition, people with colds are more likely to have more head and nose symptoms.

While you are sick, limit your contact with others and discuss your symptoms with your doctor to see if you should get tested for the flu.

  • infographic a flu symptoms, fever, body aches, coughing, headaches, chills
  • infographic a flu symptoms, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes, body aches, coughing, headaches,

Although most people will recover within a week or 10 days, some are at greater risk of more severe complications, such as pneumonia.

Keep in mind

·While symptoms of influenza may seem similar to those of the common cold, influenza is a more serious disease and is estimated to cause about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths annually in Canada. Also, flu symptoms can appear very abruptly compared to the slower onset of symptoms from the common cold.

·Knowing the difference between the flu and the common cold is important, but your doctor is the best source of information. He or she can help properly diagnose your symptoms and may be able to offer prevention options for the flu.

Signs and symptoms of the flu

If you think you have symptoms of the flu, you should talk to your doctor immediately. Take a look at the sections below to help decide if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms or something else.

What is the flu?

The flu—also called influenza—is an illness caused by influenza viruses, which cause epidemics every year.

In Canada, flu season typically occurs in the fall and winter months.

It's recommended that everyone six months of age and older, with rare exception, gets an annual flu vaccine

Did you know younger children may not exhibit the same flu symptoms as adults?

Ask your pediatrician about what signs to look out for.

What are the most common symptoms of the flu?

Flu symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. If you’re experiencing any combination of the following symptoms—especially fever—visit your doctor to see if you have the flu.

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Cough

Although most people will recover within a week or 10 days, some people are at greater risk of more severe complications, such as pneumonia.

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