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Influenza Issues Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Jan 21, 2014 - 5:03:10 PM

Common Cold and the Flu: How to Tell the Difference

By Staff Editor
Jan 21, 2014 - 4:59:03 PM

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( - Many people have one goal this flu season: To get through the winter without getting sick. However, no matter hard you try and how much you wash your hands, sickness can sometimes be inevitable. But are those sniffles and aches really the flu, or is it merely the common cold?

"The symptoms of the flu and the cold can be remarkably similar, and that can complicate diagnosis," says board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Jordan Pritikin. "However, there are some surefire signs that it is the flu. First, influenza tends to strike very quickly and seemingly out-of-nowhere. Unlike a cold, which can creep upon you days at a time (a sore throat here, a sniffle there), the flu can incapacitate you within a day. Additionally, most people don't get a fever when they have a cold (although young children sometimes do)."

Dr. Pritikin goes on to say, "Not only are flu symptoms more abrupt, but they also tend to be much more severe, and they also tend to include symptoms such as severe vomiting and all-over body ache. It's crucial to know if you have the flu because, unlike the common cold, the flu can lead to serious health concerns such as pneumonia, particularly in the young, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems."

About Dr. Jordan Pritikin

Dr. Jordan Pritikin is a board-certified otolaryngologist at Chicago Nasal & Sinus Center, a private medical practice devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of nasal and sinus disorders. Dr. Pritikin is a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and attended Rush Medical College in Chicago, where he was selected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Society. Over the years, Dr. Pritikin has cultivated an interest in Rhinology, focusing his practice on diseases of the nose and sinuses, and has participated in clinical research exploring innovative therapies for chronic sinusitis. He has lectured at local and national meetings, developed informational and training videos demonstrating surgical techniques for the nose and sinuses, and has helped develop and refine instruments designed for sinus surgery. Dr. Pritikin and the Chicago Nasal & Sinus Center offer patients an unparalleled level of service, utilizing state-of-the art technology and innovative treatments while maintaining a thoughtful and caring approach. For more information visit


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