Cold and Flu Symptoms

Filed Under: Immune Health

Cold and Flu Symptoms

Learn the signs of these common winter illnesses

The common cold and flu (including the H1N1, or "swine flu" virus) are all transmitted from person to person, mostly through droplets in the air when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or talks. You can also contract these illnesses by touching surfaces that have the viruses on them, and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.

Cold Symptoms

Cold symptoms usually appear one to three days after exposure to the cold virus and include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy or sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Low-grade fever
  • Mild fatigue

Flu Symptoms

Flu symptoms (including the H1N1 virus) are virtually the same as those of the common cold, but are much more severe. They include:

  • High fever
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

Both seasonal flu and H1N1 can cause serious complications in those people with compromised immune systems or diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, neurocognitive and neuromuscular disorders, as well as in pregnant women. If you fall into one of these categories, preventing the flu is especially important.

More Dr. Williams Advice on Colds and Flu

DISCLAIMER: The content of is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.

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