Colds and the flu(influenza) are both respiratory infections, but they are caused by different viruses. And while symptoms may seem similar, it is important to be diagnosed correctly to avoid complications from flu, like pneumonia.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu symptoms include:
1. body aches
All are typically much more severe than a cold's symptoms.
Cold symptoms include:
2. runny nose
A cold will usually clear up on its own (usually you'll start to fell better in 7-10 days). The flu, however, can lead to serious complications -- especially in the elderly or people with chronic diseases. Left untreated ... flu can lead to pneumonia and bacterial infection. It's best to seek medical attention if your symptoms are not improving.