Influenza and the common cold are respiratory illnesses caused by viruses. Symptoms may be so similar they may be tell the difference at first. "There are over 100 different types of rhinovirus, which is what makes the common cold so common," says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Mayo Clinic. " The symptoms that we see with common cold tend to be runny nose, cough, some people may have a mild fever."

“Influenza is a specific type of infection caused by a specific virus. That’s usually influenza A or influenza B virus. The cold, on the other hand, is caused by hundreds of different types of viruses. The main difference that you would notice is that influenza tends to cause what we call more systemic symptoms. You are more likely to have fever, body aches and pains than you are with the cold, which tends to be usually just runny nose, sore throat, and possibly some cough," says Dr. Rajapakse.

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