By, Eileen Hilton M.D.
Is it the flu? Or just a miserable cold?
Did it come on suddenly? Can you remember the moment you knew you were sick?
Yes – Likely flu
Not really – started slowly – cold
Fever or feeling feverish?
Yes – Flu
No – cold
Muscle pain and aches?
Yes – flu
No mostly head stuffiness and discomfort – cold
Dry and hacking – flu
Moist and productive of sputum – cold
Yes! – Flu
Mild from sinus congestion – cold
Yes, very – like I was “hit by a truck”
Mildly – just from coughing and sneezing all night
Runny nose, coughing and sneezing?
Yes – used up 2 boxes of tissues and my head feels congested – cold
Not really – a bit of nasal stuffiness – Flu
Flu – Contact an MD who may give you a prescription for Tamiflu (optimally should be taken within 48 hours of symptoms). Rest and analgesics
Cold – Fluids, decongestants and nasal wash are recommended.