Catching Flu and a Cold at the Same Time. Is it possible?

While there’s been plenty of scientific research on influenza and on the common cold, there are no published studies that focus on the concurrence of both at once. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible, says Dr. Schaffner, Professor of Infectious Diseases and Preventive Medicine at VanderbiltUniversity.

The influenza virus generally causes symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, and weakness. These symptoms can also be accompanied by sinus congestion, sore throat, headaches, and muscle pain.

The common cold, on the other hand, is generally milder, with symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, sore throat, congestion, runny nose,and fatigue. These telltale signs can be caused by a number of pathogens, butthe most common culprit is rhinovirus.

But there are good news! The body can fight two infections at once, although the double-whammy may leave you feeling even worse than a normal bout of cold or flu. You can also protect against the viruses that cause colds and flu by washing your hands regularly, not sharing utensils or glasses, and avoiding other people who are sick. And if you do come down with an illness this season, do yourself a favor and get plenty of rest and fluids.