Flu Shot Day 3: Difference Between a Cold & The Flu

Today I’d like to point out the differences between a cold and a flu. And tell you a shocking statistic….the CDC ESTIMATED last year’s vaccine was only 40% effective (and with that it was 49% effective in Influenza B (mildest form), 25% against H3N2 (most common strain found circulating last year) and 65% against H1N1). Who knows what the effectiveness will be this year…the CDC even says “flu vaccine can vary in how well it works….” Guys, I’m not making this up….you can find it here: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/effectiveness-studies.htm.

difference between cold and flu


So….how do you know if you have the common cold or the flu?


  • Suddenly sick-symptoms come on abruptly? Most likely the flu. Probably the most distinguishing characteristic.
  • Fever? Most likely the flu, but sometimes the flu can present without a fever.
  • Chills? Most likely the flu.
  • Headache? Most likely the flu.
  • Sneezing? Most likely a cold, although you can sneeze with the flu.
  • Sore throat? Most likely a cold, although you can have a sore throat with the flu.
  • Chest discomfort/cough? Most likely the flu. You may have a mild to moderate hacking cough with the cold.
  • Fatigue? Usually happens with both.


Stay tuned tomorrow and Friday for ways you can keep healthy this flu “season”.