Signs and Symptoms of Influenza vs. Viral URI (Common Cold)


Onset Sudden Gradual
Fever Often high (101-104F or 38-40C); Lasts 3-5 days Rare;  If present, typically low-grade;
Aches and Pains Usual, severe Rare or mild
Weakness Moderate to extreme; Lasting up to one month Mild and brief
Bed Ridden Frequently; may last up to 5-10 days Rare
Runny Nose Less likely Common
Sneezing Sometimes Typical
Sore Throat Sometimes Common
Cough  Usual; Non-productive, “Dry”; Can become severe Sometimes; Hacking;
Mild to moderate
Headache Prominent Rare
Complications Bronchitis; Pneumonia;
Kidney Failure; Can be life threatening
Sinus congestion; Ear infection
Prevention Annual vaccination; Antiviral drugs (e.g. Rimantadine) None


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