Rhume vs. Grippe


It is sometimes very hard to differentiate between the common cold and the flu/influenza. Both are respiratory illnesses with common symptoms. The following table outlines distinctive features of each illness in hopes to provide clarity to their difference.

  Common Cold Influenze
Causes Over 200 viruses including rhinovirus (accounts for the majority of cases) Three strands of the influence virus (A, B and C)

- Sore Throat
- Cough
- Runny nose, congestion
- Feeling tired and run-down
- Sneezing
- Mild Headache
- Mild soreness and achy muscles

- Sudden fever or feeling feverish
- Chills
- Cough
- Sore throat
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches
- Fatigue
- Runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes

Treatment  Over-the-counter medicine Antivirual prescription medications
Prevention - Wash your hands properly and often
- Stay away from others when you are sick or they are sick
- Stay in shape, eat well and get enough sleep
- Get the flu shot
- Wash your hands properly and often
- Stay away from others when you are sick or they are sick
Approximate Length of Illness 1 - 2 weeks A few days to under two weeks
Complications (pneumonia, bronchitis, etc) Less common More common

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more severe in flu as opposed to the common cold symptom of a runny or stuffy nose. 
The following table outlines the severity of certain common symptoms of the flu and cold.

Symptom Common Cold Flu
Sore Throat Common Common
Cough Common Dry cough
Runny nose Common Common
Feeling tired Mild Common
Sneezing Common Common
Headache Mild Common
Soreness and achy muscles Mild Common
Fever May occur in infants and young children Common
Chills Uncommon Common



1. Rhinovirus. (2011). Retrieved July 22, 2014, from, http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/lab-bio/res/psds-ftss/rhinovirus-eng.php 2. Cold Versus Flu. (2013). Retrieved July 22, 2014, from, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/coldflu.htm

Dernière mise à jour : 25/08/2014