The flu virus is a respiratory illness and can cause many of the symptoms that everyone has experienced at one time: fever, body aches, coughing, congestion and fatigue. Most of the symptoms that are caused by the flu virus could also just as easily be the result of a cold virus infection, according to the CDC. Some differences: the flu virus is more likely to cause fever — and a higher fever, at that.
Flu sufferers have more severe symptoms overall and are more likely to face fatigue, body aches and a dry cough. Cold sufferers, by contrast, more commonly have a stuffed or runny nose and respiratory congestion. Some flu sufferers also have intestinal symptoms, such as vomiting or diarrhea.Despite concerns about the gravity of illness, the truth is that most flu cases are mild and do not require treatment or hospitalization.
Flu, unlike cold, can in rare instances lead to serious conditions like pneumonia and bronchitis, and it can even lead to death in vulnerable populations. People with a higher than average risk for complications include children under five years, pregnant women, those with compromised immune systems and senior citizens. Asthmatics, those with blood disorders, congestive heart failure and even those who are morbidly obese are also at greater risk,