As winter settles in and we head further into the normal season for sickness, many wonder how they can tell the difference between the flu or COVID -19. Today, we will go over the symptoms and explain the differences that you can notice.
Similarities between the Flu and COVID-19 Symptoms
The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Sadly, the flu and COVID-19 share many similar symptoms. These symptoms can range in severity, with none to all being present, depending on each individual’s case. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are the common symptoms that the flu and COVID-19 share:
- Fever, feeling feverish, or having chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- though this is more common in children than adults
Differences between the Flu and COVID-19 Symptoms
The primary difference between flu and COVID-19 symptoms is the severity and the delay in experiencing the symptoms.
Flu viruses can cause mild to severe illness, with the symptoms generally appearing within one to four days after infection. COVID-19, however, typically displays much more severe symptoms, sometimes also including the change in or loss of taste or smell. In addition, COVID-19 shows symptoms usually five days after infection; however, symptoms can be present as early as two days or up to 14 days after infection.
It is also important to note that when one has the flu, it is possible to spread the virus starting from one day before showing symptoms through seven days. Infants and those with weakened immune systems may be contagious for even longer. Sadly, the duration of being contagious with the COVID-19 virus is still under investigation and is unknown at this time.
What Can You Do?
One of the best things you can do to prevent getting the flu is getting the flu vaccination. We highly recommend getting the flu vaccination if you haven’t already. While the flu vaccination can’t guarantee that you won’t get the flu, those who get the flu shot tend to have milder symptoms and recover more quickly.
At this point, it is vital that we continue following COVID-19 prevention protocols, including personal hygiene, consistently cleaning, wearing masks, social distancing, and quarantining when necessary. If you feel like you may have been infected by COVID-19, call your local clinic for further instructions on how to proceed and where to get tested. We all must do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Are You Feeling Sick?
If you feel ill, please call us for an appointment today. We will assess your symptoms and provide you with instructions on how to proceed. We want to make sure that you, your family, and our community remain healthy all winter long!