While it is difficult to differentiate between cold and flu symptoms, one clear difference is that flu symptoms appear much sooner than cold symptoms do, and they appear with much higher intensity. The patient may feel fatigued and weak for up to two to three weeks in case of flu. Muscle aches may occur and the patient may experience periods of sweats and chills as the fever comes and goes. Sore throat, headache, and stuffy or runny nose may also accompany other flu symptoms.
Depending on the symptoms, the flu treatment can be decided. For instance, in case of sinus or nasal congestion, a decongestant may be prescribed. Decongestants may be used in nasal spray or oral forms, but they should not be used for more than a few days. In case of symptoms such as itchy or watery eyes, runny nose and postnasal drip, an antihistamine may be helpful.