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Commonly called “the flu,” influenza is an infectious viral disease with symptoms including general malaise, headache, chills, fatigue, coughing, muscle weakness, sore throat and fever. Given the similarity of the symptoms of the two diseases, the common cold and the flu are often confused and the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. This is erroneous, as influenza is considered a more serious condition and can possibly lead to more serious complications, including pneumonia. Treatment is palliative and aims at relieving symptoms and making the patient more comfortable. Typically, the flu virus will run its course in 7 to 10 days.