If you have cold or flu symptoms, or suspect you may have COVID, visit with a doctor and find out the best next steps. 

While these conditions may involve fatigue, a cough, sore throat, and a runny or stuffy nose, there are also several differences:

A cold:

  • Comes on gradually.
  • Rarely involves a fever.
  • Rarely involves difficulty breathing.
  • Usually involves a stuffy nose or sore throat.


  • Comes on between two and 14 days after infection.
  • Sometimes involves a fever.
  • Usually involves difficulty breathing.
  • May also not have any symptoms.

The flu:

  • Comes on suddenly.
  • Sometimes involves a fever and typically lasts 3-4 days.
  • Common to have chest discomfort or cough.
  • Sometimes involves a stuffy nose or sore throat.
  • Usually causes fatigue.