You have a fever, runny nose, and can’t get out of bed. It must be the flu, right? Not necessarily.
The flu and your average run-of-the-mill common cold have a lot of similarities, making it difficult to determine what is actually bringing you down.
Though not as severe as last year, this year’s flu season is still bad, so your chances of getting it are pretty good, especially if you didn’t get a flu shot (Why didn’t you get a flu shot? Go get one right now).
While a test performed by your doctor is the only sure-fire way to know whether or not you have a cold or the actual flu, the CDC released an infographic earlier year that breaks down some of the differences between the two so you can at least make an educated guess.
The key, to some extent, is how fast you get sick. If things start slow, then you probably have the cold. If you get hit hard and fast by something, it’s much more likely to be the flu.
Here’s what the CDC has to say:
Regardless of what you have, drink plenty of fluids, take some naps, and stay at home so you don’t give the unwelcome gift to any of your coworkers and friends. They will appreciate it.