Is it a Cold, Flu, or Pneumonia?

Influenza and Pneumonia are serious illnesses that require immediate medical attention. Knowing the difference between the common cold and Influenza and Pneumonia is important for the effectiveness of treatment.

Cold

Symptoms:

  • Fever - Rare
  • Headache - Rare
  • Muscle aches and pains - Slight
  • Fatigue - Mild
  • Stuffy/Runny nose - Common
  • Sore, Scratchy throat - Common
  • Chest Discomfort/pain - Mild to Moderate
  • Cough - Common
  • Onset of Symptoms - Gradual

 

Influenza ("Flu")

Symptoms:

  • Fever -  Characteristic, high (over 101F) lasting 3-4 days
  • Headache - Prominent
  • Muscle aches/pains - Usual and often severe
  • Fatigue - Early, prominent, can last 2-3 weeks
  • Stuffy/Runny nose - Sometimes
  • Sore, Scratchy throat - Sometimes
  • Chest Discomfort/pain - Common
  • Cough - Generally a dry hacking cough
  • Onset of Symptoms - Rapid

Pneumonia

Symptoms:

  • Fever - Characteristic, high and rises rapidly (up to 105F)
  • Headache - Generally no
  • Muscle aches and pains - Occasionally
  • Fatigue - Occasionally
  • Stuffy/Runny nose - Generally no
  • Sore, Scratchy throat - Generally no
  • Chest Discomfort/pain - Common
  • Cough - Moist cough, may produce rust-colored sputum or pus
  • Onset of Symptoms - Gradual