Sometimes it's tough to tell if you have the flu, a common cold or just allergies.
All of these ailments can cause a stuffy or runny nose, a sore throat, a headache and cough, so you might have to focus on other factors to self-diagnose.
If you are feeling the effects of allergies, you typically won't have a fever or much fatigue or body aches. And your symptoms likely come back every year in January or in the spring.
If you have a cold, you might have a mild fever and some body aches. You might feel week and even have some ear congestion. Colds generally last about a week.
Colds can happen at any time of the year, and, of course, over-the-counter medication can be used to treat symptoms.
If you have the flu, you may have a fever above 100 degrees, mild to severe body aches and a severe headache.
Over-the-counter medications are available to help with flu symptoms and antiviral medications can be prescribed to make the illness milder and prevent complications.
HealthCentral says patients should see a doctor if their symptoms become severe, if a cough lasts more than 10 days or if they have a prolonged, high fever.