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How is a cold versus flu symptom chart made?

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Quick Answer

A symptom chart can be made by differentiating the symptoms between the common cold and influenza. Several medical websites, such as WebMD and the Health Services Unit of Syracuse University, have symptom charts that distinguish the differences between the two illnesses.

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How is a cold versus flu symptom chart made?
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Full Answer

Influenza and the common cold are both infections of the upper respiratory tract, but they are caused by different types of viruses. Since these two types of infections share similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell them apart, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza is often more severe than the common cold. Symptoms of the flu and the common cold may include fever, headache, fatigue, body pains, sneezing and sore throat.

The Health Services Unit of Syracuse University provides a simple symptom chart with three columns. The first column is dedicated to symptoms that are often associated with the common cold and flu. The second and third columns display whether a symptom is common, uncommon or rare to each illness. The last two columns also distinguish whether a symptom appears in mild, moderate or severe form.

WebMD offers a more comprehensive symptom chart. In addition to symptoms, WebMD also lists the differences and similarities between influenza and the common cold in terms of complications, prevention and treatment.

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