What’s the Difference Between a Cold and the Flu?

The cold and the flu are both contagious illnesses with overlapping symptoms and similar treatments for symptomatic relief. However, they are caused by different viruses and can differ in severity.

The common cold can be caused by several different respiratory viruses, with rhinoviruses being the most common.. Some of the most common symptoms of a cold include sore throats, runny noses, and nasal congestion, and these symptoms can last a couple of days to a week.

Meanwhile, the flu (also known as influenza) is caused by the influenza A and influenza B viruses, and these viruses can mutate and change every year. The most common flu symptoms include fever, dry cough, muscle and joint aches, fatigue, and chills. These symptoms tend to be more severe than you might experience with a cold, and generally last less than a week to up to 10 days.

How to Treat a Cold or the Flu

There is no effective cure for the common cold, but you can tackle the symptoms with over-the-counter medicines like antihistamines, decongestants, a syrup for cough and cold, and pain relievers.

To relieve cold and flu symptoms, you can take an over-the-counter cold and flu liquid medicine like DayQuil or NyQuil. Your healthcare provider may also recommend the use of anti-viral prescription drugs to shorten the duration of your flu and reduce the risk of serious complications.

Get Cold & Flu Symptom Relief with NyQuil & DayQuil Liquid Medicines

Whether you’re dealing with a cold or the flu, NyQuil and DayQuil offer a variety of nighttime and daytime cold and flu liquid medicines to tackle your roughest, toughest symptoms.

For a powerful, non-drowsy daytime cold and flu liquid, DayQuil SEVERE Maximum Strength Cough, Cold & Flu Daytime Relief Liquid starts working fast to provide powerful relief for 9 of your worst cold and flu symptoms in a non-drowsy formula. Similarly, DayQuil SEVERE Honey Maximum Strength Cough, Cold & Flu Daytime Relief Liquid is flavored with real honey and works fast to tackle your toughest symptoms.

Is your cough keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep? NyQuil SEVERE Maximum Strength Cough, Cold & Flu Nighttime Relief Liquid provides fast nighttime relief for multiple cold & fl u symptoms including sinus congestion, coughing, sneezing, headaches, fevers, sinus pressure, sore throat, stuffy nose, and minor aches and pains. NyQuil VapoCOOL SEVERE Maximum Strength Cold & Flu + Congestion Nighttime Relief Liquid delivers the same 9-symptom nighttime relief as well as a powerful, cooling rush of Vicks Vapors to help you get the rest you need.