BROOKLYN - As flu and cold season begins, health officials are helping residents determine the difference between the two illnesses.

Telling the difference between the common cold and the flu is impossible for many. Both illnesses affect the respiratory tract, but are caused by different viruses.

The flu is caused by a stronger virus that, if not taken care of, can cause further complications such as pneumonia and bacterial infections. Symptoms of the flu are also worse than those of a common cold. They include fever, body aches, extreme fatigue and an intense dry cough.

Common colds are usually accompanied by congestion, including runny or stuffy noses.