What Ails You: Cold, Flu, or Something Else?

With flu season in full swing, it’s important to know what ails you (so you can help stop the spread by staying home). But how do you really know if you have the flu—swine or seasonal—or if it’s just another cold or an allergy? Use our handy sympt-o-meter.
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Colds

Key symptom: Nasal congestion

Best fix: Rest, drink a lot of water

If you have a runny nose, a little cough, maybe a low-grade fever (below 100°F)—it’s probably a winter cold, which isn’t associated with body aches or high fever like the flu. Staying hydrated will boost your immune system and help relieve congestion. Cold medicine? It might help you feel better, but it won’t cure you any sooner. Plus, it might lead to side effects like dry mouth or sleep trouble.

Next: Allergies

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