Flu molecule icon

Is it the flu, a cold, or allergies?

The symptoms can be similar, but there are ways to tell them apart.Read the information below to learn more.

Symptom Flu Cold Airborne Allergies
Fever icon Fever
FluUsual,high (100°F -102°F), sometimes higher (especially in young children); lasts 3-4 days ColdRare Airborne AllergiesNever
Headache icon Headache
FluCommon ColdUncommon Airborne AllergiesUncommon
General aches and pains icon General
Aches, Pains
FluUsual; often severe ColdSlight Airborne AllergiesNever
Fatigue, weakness icon Fatigue,
FluUsual; can last up to 3 weeks ColdSometimes Airborne AllergiesSometimes
Extreme Exhaustion Extreme
FluUsual; at beginning of illness ColdNever Airborne AllergiesNever
Extreme exhaustion icon Stuffy,
Runny Nose
FluSometimes ColdCommon Airborne AllergiesCommon
Sneezing icon Sneezing
FluSometimes ColdUsual Airborne AllergiesUsual
Sore throat icon Sore Throat
FluSometimes ColdCommon Airborne AllergiesSometimes
Cough icon Cough
FluCommon; can become severe ColdCommon Airborne AllergiesSometimes
Chest discomfort icon Chest
FluCommon ColdMild to moderate Airborne AllergiesRare, except for those with allergic asthma

This table is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for the advice of your healthcare provider. If you have any of the flu symptoms shown here, stay home and call your doctor.

Little girl receiving FluMist Quadrivalent dose with nasal spray bottle icon


FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT is not designed to cause the flu.

Like the vaccines for chicken pox and measles, FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT is a live vaccine. That means it contains weakened live viruses. It stimulates the immune system in the lining of the nose and throat. That is where the flu virus typically enters the body.


  • You should not get FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT if you have a severe allergy to eggs or to any inactive ingredient in the vaccine; have ever had a life-threatening reaction to influenza vaccinations; or are 2 through 17 years old and take aspirin or medicines containing aspirin—children or adolescents should not be given aspirin for 4 weeks after getting FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise
  • Children under 2 years old have an increased risk of wheezing (difficulty with breathing) after getting FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you or your child are currently wheezing; have a history of wheezing if under 5 years old; have had Guillain-Barré syndrome; have a weakened immune system or live with someone who has a severely weakened immune system; have problems with your heart, kidneys, or lungs; have diabetes; are pregnant or nursing; or are taking a medication used to treat influenza like Tamiflu®*, Relenza®*, amantadine, or rimantadine
  • The most common side effects are runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and fever over 100°F

FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT is a vaccine that is sprayed into the nose to help protect against influenza. It can be used in people 2 through 49 years old. FLUMIST QUADRIVALENT may not prevent influenza in everyone who gets vaccinated.

Please see accompanying full Prescribing Information, including Patient Information.

You may report side effects related to AstraZeneca products by clicking here.