Is it flu or pneumonia? Here’s how to tell difference

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Respiratory viruses are tricky, and influenza and pneumonia are no exceptions.

Overlapping symptoms between the two make it difficult to determine which one you might be suffering from.

Common symptoms of both include fever, chills, cough, fatigue and vomiting. But, there are also stark differences. 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pneumonia can be accompanied by shortness of breath; rapid and shallow breathing; and a sharp, stabbing-like chest pain that worsens when you take a deep breath or cough. Other symptoms are the loss of appetite and confusion, especially in older people. 

The flu, however, is more likely to be accompanied by a sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, muscle and body aches, and a headache. Diarrhea can also be a symptom, but this is more commonly seen in children than adults. 

Symptoms for both will vary. Not everyone will exhibit each one, Severity will also vary. Symptoms can range from mild to severe–meaning in some cases you may barely notice them. Other cases may require hospitalizations.