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Understanding the Difference Between a Cold vs. Infection vs. the Flu

When the temperatures turn cool, there are a number of things that can leave you feeling less than your best. At Southcoast Health, we hope to help you recognize when you are suffering from a cold that will come and go or something more serious that urgent care or emergency medical care should address.

Symptoms of a Cold vs. the Flu

A cold is an infectious disease characterized by a common set of symptoms that are the reaction of your immune system fighting the virus, which can lead to the swelling and inflammation of the nasal membranes and passages and overflow of other fluids.

Common cold symptoms include:

  • Runny, stuffy nose
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Decreased appetite

The flu is a common viral infection that presents some of the same symptoms as a cold, with the addition of others, such as:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Fatigue

If you have an infection (like a sinus infection), then you might notice sinus pressure, thick yellow or green mucus draining from your nose or down your throat, or other flu-like symptoms like a fever and headache that won’t subside.

When to Come to Southcoast Health in MA & RI

Whether you think you have symptoms of the common cold, an infection or the flu in Fairhaven, Wareham or nearby, you can find the quick medical care and treatment you need at Southcoast Health. If you’re not getting any better within a few days, our team can help get to the bottom of what’s causing your sickness and how best to treat it.

Get back to your healthy life by finding a Southcoast doctor near you or learning more about all of our urgent care services.

Southcoast Health treats patients of all ages with expert medical care, including treatment for colds, infections and the flu, in Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Seekonk, Wareham, MA, and across southeastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island.