Cold vs. Flu – How do I Know?

(CARLSBAD, CA) – Aaaacchooo! Sneezing, coughing, sniffling, stuffy nose, body aches. It’s that time of year again. The winter season brings snowball fights, hot cocoa, and festive holidays. Unfortunately, it also brings seasonal colds and flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people in the United States will suffer one billion colds this winter, most of them being seasonal colds caused by the rhinovirus. Meanwhile, up to twenty percent of Americans will contract some type of influenza this winter.

So, how do you know if you have a cold or the flu? Sometimes it appears that the symptoms are interchangeable. Yet, it’s important to know the difference between a cold and the flu. That’s because a common cold can make you feel badly for a few days, but the flu can lead to more serious health problems, such as pneumonia.

Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett uses this simple checklist to determine the difference between a cold and the flu.



Flu (Influenza)

Sore Throat

Very common



Very common


Stuffy Nose

Very common


Body Aches & Pains


Severe; lasts several days



Severe; lasts several days


Mild to moderate

Severe hacking cough


No fever or minimal fever

High fever (above 100 degrees)



Constant headache

Vomiting or diarrhea



Potential Complications

Sinus congestion or infection

Pneumonia; ear infections; bronchitis; can require hospitalization


The best way to prevent both colds and the flu is to wash your hands. Rub your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds to slough off germs. It’s also wise to avoid contact with people who have a cold or flu, especially in the first 48 hours of their illness.

If you find that you develop cold or flu symptoms, you can take over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and anti-inflammatory medications. Contact your doctor if you have any symptoms that resemble the flu, particularly if these symptoms last longer than a few days.

Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.

Posted: 9/10/2009 9:54:33 AM by Jazzercise | with 0 comments

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