Cold, Flu, or COVID-19: How To Know the Difference

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021, 10:06 am

As we continue to endure the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are struggling to identify the distinction between a COVID-19 infection and a cold or flu virus. Receiving a COVID-19 test is the best way to know for sure if you’ve been infected by the virus. Additionally, if you’re feeling unwell, talking to a medical professional can ensure that you receive the care that you need. 

That said, it’s helpful to understand how COVID-19, the common cold, and the flu differ. Here, we’ll discuss the main differences between the symptoms of these viruses. 

Colds Vs. COVID-19

The common cold causes symptoms that are less severe than both the flu and COVID-19. Additionally, unlike COVID-19, a cold usually doesn’t cause a headache or fever. 

A runny nose and congestion are common symptoms of a cold. If this is the only symptom that you’re experiencing, it’s unlikely to be a case of the flu. However, mild cases of COVID-19 can have a runny nose or congestion as the sole symptom. 

The Flu Vs. COVID-19

The flu is a serious illness that, in severe cases, can even lead to death. Flu vaccines are readily available and are the best way to protect yourself against a flu infection. One difference that can be present between the flu and COVID-19 is the speed at which the virus sets in. The flu is commonly a rapid onset illness; COVID-19 can be a gradual or rapid onset illness. 

The flu and COVID-19 share multiple potential symptoms, including:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches and pains
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

However, COVID-19 can also cause symptoms that aren’t associated with the flu, including a loss of taste and smell, trouble breathing, and skin reactions. Additionally, patients may take anywhere from days to months to fully recover from a case of COVID-19. 

At Suncoast Urgent Care, we provide COVID-19 testing and appointments with our experienced staff for medical concerns. Contact us today to learn more. 

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Category: COVID


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