Flu Facts

Illnesses with Similar Symptoms

Other respiratory illnesses can cause flu-like symptoms such as:

  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • Adenovirus
  • Para influenza
  • West Nile Virus
  • The Common Cold

Cold Versus the Flu

The flu and the common cold are both respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. Because these two types of illnesses have similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the difference between them. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.1

1Source: www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm.