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Common Cold or Flu? Here’s a Checklist!

I don’t need a lot for Christmas. There’s just one thing that I need. I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree. I just want to get through the holidays and make it to the new year without anyone in my family coming down with another cold or cough.

I know that’s not exactly how the song goes, but I’m taking creative liberties here. I’m just so done with runny noses and wiping runny noses and the coughing and … ugh. I just want some eggnog.

If I do find myself not feeling well between the running around, gift wrapping and eggnog imbibing, I’ll take a glance at this list. While the common cold and the flu share some similarities, they are vastly different in other ways. Do you know the differences between cold and flu? Healthline gives us the rundown!


Symptoms of the Common Cold

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Mild-to-moderate fever
  • Cough
  • Headache or body aches
  • Mild tiredness

The Flu

  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Moderate-to-high fever (although not everyone with the flu will run a fever)
  • Sore throat
  • Shaking, chills
  • Severe muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Stuffy and runny nose
  • Profound fatigue (may last up to two weeks)
  • While you just have to get plenty of rest to get over a cold, the flu’s duration can be shortened with antivirals. But you’ve got to get to the doctor right away for those to actually help. Remember, sometimes people refer to stomach bugs as the flu, but that’s a whole other bag of fun altogether.

My colds put me out of commission, and I know I can’t afford to get the flu. I’m diligent in getting my flu shot each fall and making sure my kiddos do, too. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, it’s not too late. There’s still plenty of flu season left!

Do you get the flu shot?Erin

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