Though the common cold and flu share many signs and symptoms, they are caused by different viruses. Signs and symptoms include sneezing, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, and cough. Treatment options for the cold and flu are similar and focus on reducing symptoms. Doctors may prescribe antivirals/neuraminidase inhibitors for the flu. Read more: Cold vs. Flu Article
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Related Disease Conditions
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus infection, cigarette smoking, GERD, postnasal drip, bronchitis, pneumonia, medications, and less frequently tumors or other lung disease. Chronic cough treatment is based on the cause, but may be soothed natural and home remedies.
Fever in Adults and Children
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
Diarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal pain, and the sensation of rectal urgency. Causes of diarrhea include viral, bacterial, or parasite infection, gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and drugs. Absorbents and anti-motility medications are used to treat diarrhea.
Sore throat (throat pain) usually is described as pain or discomfort in the throat area. A sore throat may be caused by bacterial infections, viral infections, toxins, irritants, trauma, or injury to the throat area. Common symptoms of a sore throat include a fever, cough, runny nose, hoarseness, earaches, sneezing, and body aches. Home remedies for a sore throat include warm soothing liquids and throat lozenges. OTC remedies for a sore throat include OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Antibiotics may be necessary for some cases of sore throat.
How Do You Get Rid of a Cold Overnight?
Cold symptoms are part of your body’s healing processes. Most of the time, it does not require any help. However, you can get rid of a cold faster, even overnight, by resting, drinking hot fluids, blowing your nose, gargling with salt water, taking a hot shower, using a humidifier and taking OTC pain relievers and decongestants.
Inner Ear Infection (Labyrinthitis)
Labyrinthitis is inflammation of the labyrinth (the part of the ear responsible for balance and hearing). Doctors do not know the exact cause of labyrinthitis; however, they often are associated viral infections of the inner ear. Symptoms of labyrinthitis are ear pain or earache, ear discharge, problems with balance and walking, ringing in the ears, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. Viral infections associated with labyrinthitis are contagious. Home remedies may help labyrinthitis symptoms and signs. Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medication may treat inner ear infections, labyrinthitis symptoms like vertigo and nausea, and help ear pain.
The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and maybe a fever. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea is an uneasiness of the stomach that often precedes vomiting. Nausea and vomiting are not diseases, but they are symptoms of many conditions. There are numerous cases of nausea and vomiting. Some causes may not require medical treatment, for example, motion sickness, and other causes may require medical treatment by a doctor, for example, heart attack, lung infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. Some causes of nausea and vomiting may be life-threatening, for example, heart attack, abdominal obstruction, and cancers. Treatment of nausea and vomiting depends upon the cause.
What Are the Best Home Remedies for an Upper Respiratory Infection?
What is an upper respiratory infection and what causes it? Learn more about upper respiratory infection, the common cold, and how you can treat upper respiratory infections at home.
Common Cold: Stages and Timeline of Symptom Progression
The common cold or viral rhinitis is an upper respiratory infection caused by several types of viruses. It is one of the most common infectious diseases affecting humans. A common cold may typically follow a certain pattern of progression that has four different stages.
Mastoiditis in children and adults is inflammation and/or infection of the mastoid bone, which is located behind the ear. The most common cause of mastoiditis is an inner ear infection or otitis media. Acute mastoiditis lasts for a short period, while chronic mastoiditis can last for months to years. Symptoms of acute mastoiditis in children and adults include, pain and swelling behind the ear, pus draining from the ear, and a low-grade fever. Complications of mastoiditis include meningitis, abscess, dizziness, and conductive hearing loss. Mastoiditis requires antibiotic treatment so it cannot be treated at home with natural products or home remedies; however, home remedies may help reduce symptoms of pain, inflammation, and fever. Some individuals will need surgery to cure their infection.
Fatigue can be described in various ways. Sometimes fatigue is described as feeling a lack of energy and motivation (both mental and physical). The causes of fatigue are generally related to a variety of conditions or diseases, for example, anemia, mono, medications, sleep problems, cancer, anxiety, heart disease, and drug abuse.Treatment of fatigue is generally directed toward the condition or disease that is causing the fatigue.
Cold and Cough Medicine for Infants and Children
The safety of giving infants and children over-the-counter (OTC) cold and cough medicine is important for caregivers to understand. While there is no "gold standard" recommendation for giving infants and children OTC cold and cough medicine for fever, aches, cough, and runny nose, a few standards have been recommended. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that OTC cold and cough medicine only be used in children age four years and older. The American College of Chest Physicians recommend that these medicines only be used in children age 15 years and older. The FDA recommends that OTC cold and cough medicine be used in children 2 years of age and older. However, there is agreement in regard to which OTC medications should not be used in children under the age of four (or the age of two, depending upon which guidelines are used), and they are 1) certain antihistamines like brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine maleate, and diphenhydramine (Benadryl); 2) cough expectorants (guaifenesin); 3) cough suppressants (dextromethorphan, DM); and 4) decongestants (pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine). Aspirin should never be given to infants, children, and adolescents due to the possibility of a rare, but often severe and even fatal illness called Reye's syndrome. REFERENCES:FDA. "Most Young Children with a Cough or Cold Don't Need Medicines." July 18, 2017. FDA. "Use Caution When Giving Cough and Cold Products to Kids." Updated: Nov 04, 2016.
How Long Is a Cold or Flu Contagious?
Viruses cause the common cold and the flu. Early symptoms and signs for a cold and the flu are similar, however, flu symptoms are typically more severe than cold symptoms. Cold and flu viruses are transmitted typically via coughing or sneezing.
Chronic bronchitis is a cough that occurs daily with production of sputum that lasts for at least 3 months, 2 years in a row. Causes of chronic bronchitis include cigarette smoking, inhaled irritants, and underlying disease processes (such as asthma, or congestive heart failure). Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Treatments include bronchodilators and steroids. Complications of chronic bronchitis include COPD and emphysema.
Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. The flu may be prevented with an annual influenza vaccination.
Is a Cough Contagious?
There are many types of coughs: for example, dry cough, wet cough, a barking cough, whooping cough, stress induced cough, acute cough, and chronic cough. Cough is a symptom of an underlying condition or disease. Treatment of cough as a symptom is generally with OTC lozenges and liquids. The cause of the cough will be necessary to treat.
Cold, Flu, Allergy Treatments
Before treating a cold, the flu, or allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it's important to know what's causing the symptoms, which symptoms one wishes to relieve, and the active ingredients in the OTC product. Taking products that only contain the medications needed for relieving your symptoms prevents ingestion of unnecessary medications and reduces the chances of side effects.
Laryngitis Home Remedies
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx. Inflammation of the larynx is most often caused by viral infections, and have symptoms such as sore throat, cough, problems swallowing, and fever. The voice changes produced by laryngitis may last after the fever and other symptoms of the acute infection has gone away. The best natural home remedy to relieve pain and other symptoms caused by laryngitis include resting your voice and breathing humidified air often. Turning on hot water in the bathroom and then sitting in the steam can soothe and relive laryngitis symptoms. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve) can relieve pain and inflammation caused by laryngitis. Don't give children aspirin to infants, toddlers, children and teens because of the risk of developing Reye's syndrome, which can be fatal. Home remedies like resting your voice and sitting in humidified air can cure laryngitis. Medications like anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) can relieve and soothe pain and symptoms caused by laryngitis.
COVID-19 vs. Flu vs. Cold
When you're feeling sick, it can be difficult to distinguish the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection from the symptoms of the common cold or the flu (influenza). While fever is common with the flu and COVID-19, sneezing is typically only associated with colds. Though sore throats are typical with colds, they are uncommon with COVID-19 infections and the flu.
Adenovirus infections are common and often have no symptoms. Adenoviruses cause illnesses like bladder infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, bronchitis, pinkeye, colds, encephalitis, sore throat, and meningitis. Signs and symptoms of an adenovirus infection depend on the type of virus causing the infection. Treatment focuses on supportive care. A vaccine against adenovirus type 4 and 7 is available only to U.S. military personnel.
What Happens if a Pregnant Woman Gets a Cold?
Having an ordinary cold shouldn't be harmful to the baby or mother. Pregnant women are highly likely to pick up a cold at some time during pregnancy because it's normal to catch two or three colds a year. A healthy lifestyle is a must to keep the immune system strong and to prevent colds.
What Is Enterovirus (Non-Polio Enterovirus Infection)?
Non-polio enteroviruses cause a variety of infections, including aseptic meningitis, hand, foot, and mouth disease, herpangina, and the common cold. Symptoms and signs of enterovirus infection include hypoxia, eye pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fever. Treatment involves supportive care to reduce symptoms.
When Should You See a Doctor for Upper Respiratory Infection?
What is an upper respiratory infection? Learn the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection and what to do about it.
Which Flu Is Worse A or B?
Flu or influenza is a contagious (spreads from person to person) viral illness that affects the respiratory tract (the nose, throat and lungs). Type A influenza is generally considered worse than type B influenza.
What Can You Take for a Cold While Pregnant?
You may take over-the-counter (OTC) treatment after consulting with the physician because these are generally safe. OTC medications for colds and flus include acetaminophen, guaifenesin syrup and saline nasal drops or spray. You can also use natural remedies to treat a cold during pregnancy.
How Long Do Flu Symptoms Last in Toddlers?
What is the flu, and how long do symptoms last in kids? Learn the signs of the flu and find out what medicines may help.
Are You Too Sick to Work?
When you're not feeling well, it may be difficult to decide whether to stay home or go to school or work. Conditions that are very painful may prevent you from working effectively. Anyone with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or dizziness should stay home.
What Are Postnasal Drip Medications?
Postnasal drips refer to the feeling of mucus collecting or dripping inside the throat from the back of your nose (postnasally). This may occur when there is excess mucus formation, when the mucus becomes too thick or when the normal flow of mucus is blocked or hindered.
How Can I Help My Baby With a Stuffy Nose?
It is distressing to all mothers to see their little ones with a stuffy nose and a cold. When your baby is irritable and does not eat, it makes you and your whole family anxious. Fortunately, there are various ways to help your baby with a stuffy nose including steam inhalation, hydration, using tissues and other strategies.
How Long Does the Flu Last in Seniors?
What is the flu? Learn the signs of the flu in seniors and when you need to call a doctor.
Is It Common to Get a Cold During Early Pregnancy?
It is common to get a cold and the flu during pregnancy. Find out if it affects the baby and how to take care of yourself.
Treating the Flu in People with Health Risks
Certain portions of the population are at an increased risk of suffering serious complications from the flu. Some of these indviduals at risk include: those with asthma, COPD, heart disease, liver or kidney disease, HIV, AIDs, elderly, women who are pregnant, and children under the age of two. Contact your physician if you have the flu immediately so that you receive the proper care to prevent serious complications.
How Do You Tell If Your Child Has Allergies or a Cold?
Colds and allergies have different causes, but both involve the body's immune system. Since the symptoms of allergies and the symptoms of a cold overlap, it can be hard to tell which one your child has.
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